There wasn’t much breaking news coming out of Steinbrenner Field this morning. The Yankees pitchers and catchers showed up, then some of them talked, then all of them left. For a first day of spring training, it was pretty much exactly what you would expect.
As for some smaller notes from the day, here’s one that is quite literally smaller.
Who’s in shape and who’s not always seems to be an early spring training question, and the only player I saw who was a noticeably different size was Jonathan Albaladejo, who said he lost 30 pounds this winter. “A lot of running,” he said.
For the first time since he turned pro, Albaladejo did not play winter ball in Puerto Rico. He instead focused on getting into shape. “I definitely feel more fresh,” he said. “My arm feels more life.”
• For now, Phil Hughes is only throwing fastballs and changeups in his bullpen sessions, and he expects to throw one more bullpen before he mixes in curveballs and cutters. He compared the development of his changeup to last year’s development of the cutter. “I’ll concentrate on it all spring,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get it to a point where it’s a solid pitch for me. It just comes with repetition.”
• Along the left wall, the first group of lockers goes in this order: CC Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, Javier Vazquez, Chad Gaudin, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte. That’s a clearly defined section if I’ve ever seen one.
• One random locker assignment comes on the right side of the back wall: Nick Swisher, Marcus Thames, Randy Winn, Curtis Granderson, Reid Gorecki and Mark Teixeira. Poor Gorecki is going to be surrounded by writers every day without being asked a single question. Unless it’s a question about one of the guys sitting near him.
• Congratulations to Mark Melancon, who got married this winter. Also congratulations to Jason Hirsh, who had hardly said hello before he flipped open his phone to show me a picture of his newborn.
• Speaking of Hirsh, I still consider him one of the sleepers of big league camp, and he came up with a great line to explain his offseason conditioning. ”Functional training instead of meathead lifting,” he said. Nice.
• Jorge Posada said he watched that World Series highlight DVD this winter. I’m sure a lot of Yankees watched it, but Posada was the first I’ve heard talking about it. “I watched it and you can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
• I doubt I’ll have any reason to write more than five words about D.J. Mitchell this winter, but I did get to meet him this morning. Really nice guy. He said he found out on Monday that the Yankees made him a late addition to big league camp. He drove from North Carolina to Tampa on Tuesday, and was in camp this morning. He’s a sinker baller who climbed from Low-A to High-A last season. The Yankees haven’t told him where they expect him to open this season.