Sunday, February 22, 2015

New York Yankees first official workout

New York Yankees pitchers and catchers and Carlos Beltran because of his injury took the field for the first time as a team on Friday morning.  It was a welcome sight for many in the northeast as the winter has everyone looking forward to spring.  There wasn't too much going on as is standard early in the spring.  There were some easy bullpens, some PFP which is pitchers fielding practice if you didn't know and some jogging and stretching.  The catchers also took some batting practice. 

A big topic on the first day was CC Sabathia and gaining his weight back.  He lost a lot of weight over the last two seasons and everyone was asking for him to get heavy again because they felt it affected him.  It turns out they may have been right as Sabathia talked about not having the right balance, we will see though as the games start if he is just done or if he has anything left.  I will say that the extra weight can't be good for his degenerative knee. 

Joe Girardi acknowledged on Saturday that the Yankees will "do things more in this spring training" to teach hitters to beat the defensive shift.  It doesn't look like the Yankees are trying to force anything on the hitters but they are talking about it and preaching it which I think is a good thing.  The game has changed and offense is down, in my opinion the hitters need to adjust and take what is given to them.  If they hit enough balls the other way and beat the shift, the shift will stop eventually. 

McCann was one of the guys affected by the shift the most.  He has been working on beating it all winter but said that wasn't the biggest reason for his numbers being down.  He said that his bat path last year was out of whack.  He said he had to go back during the off-season and study what he was doing wrong.  He said he was able to pinpoint what the problem was and he feels good coming into camp.  McCann caught only one bullpen on the first day but it was from a new guy.  The new guy is not new to McCann though as he and David Carpenter worked together in Atlanta.  He is high on him saying he setup for Kimbrel in Atlanta and the Yankees are expecting big things this year from him. 

McCann said he was sent about 10-15 video clips of every new pitcher this year and they must of been pretty long clips.  He said he feels like he saw pretty much every outing from last year of all of those pitchers. 

Carlos Beltran went through outfield drills with Rob Thomson and took batting practice with McCann and also John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine.  There were three pitchers who attracted the most attention from the media on day one.  They were Sabathia because of being injured last year, Jacob Lindgren who was last year's top pick and is quickly rising through the ranks.  They feel he could be on the big league club this season.  The last guy is Luis Severino who is considered the Yankees top prospect.  Joe Girardi said "It's a live arm", It's a player who is bigger in stature than I thought when I heard some of the comparisons.  He's bigger than I thought.  A lot of times you worry about the rigors of players that are extremely thin, but he's a strong young kid, I believe, with a lot of talent." 

The Yankees hired former Angels outfielder Reggie Willits to be their minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator.  He'll be one of several minor league coaches working with the players in big league camp this year. 

The former Yankees who are listed as special guest instructors this spring are: Eric Chavez, Billy Connors, Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Hideki Matsui, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill and Andy Pettitte. 

Joe Girardi said this after day one,  “There’s a collection of good young arms here. Obviously there’s guys that you’ve seen, but you look at the younger players that we had a chance to look at today. Those are some pretty good arms. And it’s not just from one side. It’s not just right-handed or left-handed, it’s both. And that’s exciting to us.”

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