Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte pitched in a minor league game and Phil Hughes pitched in a simulated game. Francisco Cervelli caught Andy Pettitte. Hughes came through the game fine, he got hit in the back on a ground ball which was a scary moment but he was fine. He said he is working on being ready for the season and right now he is on track, we will have to wait and see what happens. Rivera threw two innings with a total of 31 pitches. He said he just wanted to stretch it out a little, he had four strikeouts. Pettitte pitched 5 2/3 innings giving up two runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Pettitte said he threw about 80 pitches and will get up to 90-95 next time out. He said at this point the most important thing is getting the work in and being healthy which he is. He said he is just building up his stamina.
Hughes should appear in an actual minor league game on Saturday. The Yankees are keeping him lined up for April 7th which would be the first time they need a fifth starter, it gives him about an extra week to get ready.
It looks like AA Trenton will have an impressive outfield this season with Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin and Ramon Flores. It is important to remember that with Hughes the Yankees can take their time because they have both David Phelps and Ivan Nova who could start. They will both be on the team, with one the fifth starter and the other as the long reliever. The Yankees really will have six good starters and more good arms in the minors. They are in good shape pitching wise and that will have to be what carries them with the injuries to their offense.
Kevin Youkilis hit his third homerun of the spring on Sunday and has his average up to 308. He is really hitting the ball well and will hope to carry that over into the start of the season. Melky Mesa who has a chance to make the team is really hitting well also. He hit a grand slam on Sunday and has three homeruns also during grapefruit league play. Eduardo Nunez had been struggling offensively but had two hits and two stolen bases on Sunday. It is important to note he has been much better defensively this spring, I guess it does help him to keep him just at shortstop. Brennan Boesch also had two hits, his first two as a Yankee.
Mark Teixeira apparently is injured worse then originally thought. He could be out longer but the Yankees are still hoping for the 8-10 weeks. They will have to see how he responds to rest and hope that is all that he needs. If he responds he will be back in May or June, if not he may need surgery and be lost for the season.
Thursday’s minor league recaps…
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