Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New York Yankees news and notes from the last coule of days before full squad workouts

Ivan Nova threw a bullpen on Tuesday and was very encouraged.  He is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and could be ready by June.  It was Nova's third bullpen session since the surgery.  He threw 25 pitches which were all fastballs.  He is supposed to do that four times before he adds changeups and then after a few fastball/changeup bullpens he will begin throwing breaking pitches. 

"One good thing, you know you're not going to be ready in April," Nova said.  "So you prepare yourself to be ready whenever they tell me.  I don't have to be thinking right now that I've got to be ready in April, so that's kind of fortunate.  I'm just taking it day by day, and I know that - I believe a month before they think I'm going to be ready to go to the big leagues , they're going to tell me.  So that's the time when I'm going to really prepare for that day."

Alex Rodriguez worked out at the minor league complex again and spent some time with Chase Headley.  Chris Capuano threw live batting practice on Tuesday morning and was the first of four to do that.  He said he knows that his spot in the rotation is far from a lock but he is happy to get the oppurtunity to try and win the spot. 

Carlos Beltran had a full day of drills and batting practice.  He is allowed to do that because he is a rehabbing player.  Andrew Bailey is the only experienced closer in camp with the Yankees.  He is still only 30 although he is coming back from a couple years of being injured.  He threw a bullpen on Tuesday afternoon and stated he feels good and is very excited to try and make the team.  He has thrown five bullpens since he reported to Tampa after the Super Bowl.  He is given more time in between them just as a precaution but hopes that will end soon enough.  He expects to throw live batting practice next week and have enough time to get in games and get his innings that he could break camp if he makes the team.  Joe Girardi said he looked good and there was a big difference from last year to this year. 

Girardi said he expects Rodriguez, Beltran and CC Sabathia to be ready to go in games when the exhibition schedule begins.  He said on Wednesday that he expects Rodriguez to play in the first or second spring game.  Rodriguez was asked about the leadership void on Tuesday with the retirement of Derek Jeter.  "First, no one can replace the Captain," Rodriguez told reporters.  "I know I'm going to miss him tremendously.  I've been around a long time, and I've seen a lot of things.  If guys want to ask questions, I love talking baseball, and you guys know that better than anyone.  I love the game, and I love to talk it.  Whoever needs my help, I'm available." 

Didi Gregorius the new shortstop said that he got some hitting tips from Rodriguez on Tuesday.  "He's a good teammate," Gregorius said.  He said that he walked in to the complex and introduced himself to everyone.  So far so good with injuries as there has been nothing to report. 

Girardi spoke with Rodriguez about playing first base on Wednesday and Rodriguez said I will do anything for Joe.  The big story on Wednesday was Mark Teixeira and that he isn't doing his little internet show Foul Territory anymore.  He also stated that he lost fifteen pounds of fat and then put back on 13 pounds of muscle.  He said he was happy to get back to weight lifting and being a big strong guy who will be a power hitter again.  He said that he isn't going to hit the ball the other way and be a slap hitter. 

Mariano Rivera showed up and will be there for about ten days.  He is a guest instructor and is allowed to do what he wants to do basically like when he was a player.  Luis Severino threw another bullpen on Wednesday afternoon and drew a big crowd.  Everyone reported on time and there were no issues, everyone passed their physicals. 

The new hitting coach Jeff Pentland introduced himself to the writers.  He talked a little bit about being excited to work with Arod and his views on the shift.  He said he is only a good hitting coach if they have good players.  It is pretty much true although I think they could make some difference with certain players especially younger ones.  Girardi said he expects to have some intrasquad games before the exhibition schedule begins next week. 

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