Sunday, February 21, 2016

New York Yankees weekend spring training notes

Camp is pretty quiet right now as it is just pitchers and catchers.  This is how it is every year until the position players show up and then it gets more lively.  They will start to show up on Wednesday and then the first full squad workout will happen on Thursday of this week.  The late inning trio though definitely created a lot of buzz on Saturday.  Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances all threw a bullpen session together on Saturday along with CC Sabathia.  Sabathia though wasn't even looked at as all eyes were locked on the three headed bullpen monsters. 

Vinnie Pestano said he signed with the Yankees because they have some open spots in their bullpen but also because he really wanted to pitch for the Yankees.  He said it is an oppurtunity that doesn't come around often and he wanted to take advantage.  He said his worst stretches as a pitcher have come when he has tried to tinker.  He said pitching coach Larry Rothschild has told him not to tinker and just be himself this spring.  He finished last season with 28 straight scoreless outings in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast league in the minors.  Luis Cessa acquired in the Justin Wilson trade is in big league camp for the first time and expects to be in the AAA rotation.  His AAA numbers were pretty bad last year and he said that was a wake-up call and a learning experience. 

Didi Gregorius has arrived in camp, CC Sabathia didn't get much attention in his first bullpen because of the late inning relievers who were beside him.  He was encouraged about his new knee brace that he began wearing at the end of last season.  He said you always know you are wearing it but it doesn't bother him that way that it used to and that is good.  Girardi said he was landing and not having any problems.  He said his ball had sink to it, the changeup was doing what it was supposed to do , the front knee wasn't collapsing and he wasn't spinning off which was a good sign. 

McCann caught Chapman for the first time on Saturday.  He said he wasn't at full effort but the ball was still coming out hard.  He said he is rare, that there aren't many people who can do what he can.  Girardi said he is concerned about the workload of the bullpen but thinks that Betances could handle 80 games.  He said it is more about the rest in between outings and not necessarily the amount of games they pitch.  He said he still isn't sure how he is going to use Miller and Betances but would be more likely to use Betances for multiple innings. 

Carlos Corporan has an opt out in late March and even though he was signed to a minor league contract may never play in the minor with the Yankees.  He is 32 with a resume and said there really isn't anything for him to prove, if they want him on the team as the backup great and if they decide to go in another direction then he will most likely opt out and go somewhere else.  Anthony Swarzak the pitcher from Minnesota doesn't have an opt out and said he didn't push for it because he feels committed to the Yankees no matter what happens.  He said he is in camp hoping to earn a spot in the bullpen but will go to AAA if that is what the Yankees decide.  Lane Adams was a position player who showed up on Sunday . 

The Yankees have a new training hill this season and Michael Pineda stood out running on it.  The reason this is news is because of how big he is.  He really didn't look to have any trouble and was one of the better guys doing it.  He looks to be in much better shape this spring and already has stated that he wants to pitch 200 innings.  Who knows if this will carry over but it can't hurt.  Luis Severino was only throwing on flat ground but impressed manager Joe Girardi who said he looked great. 

James Kaprielian was the Yankees top pick in the draft last year and is already in big league camp.  Could he make the big leagues this season.  It won't happen right away obviously but the Yankees are saying don't rule it out although I wouldn't bet on it.  He obviously is impressing people though and it is easy to envision him being in the rotation one day in the near future. 

The Yankees starters aren't going to pitch in the first few spring training games.  That will be an oppurtunity for guys like Kaprielian and Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cess and Chad Green.  It will be important for them and for the Yankees coaches to store for later on during the season if they need anyone.   

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