New York Yankees pitchers and catchers report
The New York Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to camp on Friday. They held their first official workout on Saturday. Masahiro Tanaka of course had a huge following. CC Sabathia checked in lighter and of course there is a lot of intrigue surrounding him. Here are some of the news and notes from the start of spring training.
Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka basically stuck together all day on Saturday. It is an obvious bond between starting pitchers and countrymen. Joe Girardi said that he didn’t make any direct suggestion about it. He was happy to see the relationship develop though especially this early on. Tanaka stated he was happy to have him around and would like to spend as much time as possible with Kuroda.
Ivan Nova is one of the top four starting pitchers but he isn’t acting like one. He seems to have a better attitude now. He was sent back to the minors last year and I think taught a hard lesson. He came back and was great in the second half of last year. He stated he is treating this camp like any other, which he needs to go out there and win a job.
There were no injuries to report on the first day of camp so that makes it a success. The Yankees last year had lots of injuries right from spring training so you have to think of this. Joe Girardi said he feared that with open competition some guys might push too hard. He said he didn’t see that at all today and he was happy. Francisco Cervelli caught Tanakas first bullpen the other day and he caught him today. He said that they will start to rotate but he would like to catch him as much as he can. He stated this “the fastball command was really good.” Tanaka spoke and said as a player he is honored to have so much attention on him but he has to go out and do well on the field. He said he was a little surprised with how much attention he is getting.
Tanaka said that his first workout was shorter then expected. He said he is going to remember the running the most. The pitchers ran four laps around the field before finishing for the day. He said he is slow to begin with but it was tough. It sounded like he was most likely joking around. Manny Banuelos is coming back from Tommy John surgery. He was 21 and on the verge of the big leagues before being hurt. He is now 23 and could be on the verge. He said he sees this as another opportunity and he will make the most of it. He wants to be a starter but would be happy breaking camp with the big team as a reliever. If he goes to AAA he will be fine and just work hard on getting called up soon. He needs to take a big step forward and I think the Yankees have him in their plans moving forward. He is one of their top prospects and a lot has been expected of him.
J.R. Murphy is now going by John Ryan. That is how they have it listed above his locker and what he is telling everyone. There are a few position players that have a jersey hanging in it. Nunez, Ellsbury, Ryan, Johnson, Tex, Beltran, Jeter, Gardner, Ichiro and Soriano. These guys all figure to break camp with the club. This is a good sign for Nunez, I still think he should be the third baseman to start with Kelly Johnson being a super utility guy. We will see how this plays out though; both guys will have chances to play.
The big thing from Friday besides Tanaka of course was Michael Pineda. He seemed to be a big topic. Cervelli said he has looked good, much better then last year. The Yankees have said it is a competition for the fifth spot in the rotation but I think they want him to win that job. They didn’t trade him for nothing and he could be a fifth starter who could be a number two type starter. If he gets it back and contributes that will be a huge boost to the Yankees and could be a wild card for this season.
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