This winter, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland came up with a plan to slightly cut back on the spring training workload of their starting pitchers. But that plan was subject to change. Javier Vazquez was scheduled to begin his throwing schedule on Wednesday, but Vazquez asked if he could get some light work in today instead.
“I’ve been throwing in Puerto Rico, a few bullpens, and it’s been like a week and a half since I threw my last bullpen so I wanted to get a feel for it again,” Vazquez said. “They had us for a week without throwing, and they said if you want to throw one of these days, it’s no big deal. I told them I would love to throw today.”
Girardi has stressed that he values communication, especially early in spring training. Vazquez told Eiland that he wanted to pitch today, and the staff had no problem with the decision.
“What works for one guy is not necessarily going to work for everyone else,” Girardi said. “We’re all made up different, so you have to be able to adapt to a guy’s physical personality and his mental personality. I think it’s important. I don’t expect our guys to be robots. You have new guys who come in and their program in the past might have been different and they might have had a lot of success and been comfortable with that. You don’t want to take a guy out of his successful regimen.”
Vazquez threw only fastballs and changeups today, 30 in all, but when he starts throwing breaking balls, he’ll show a slight difference from the pitcher he was during his previous stint with the Yankees.
“I think he’s adding and subtracting from his curveball and his changeup, and he wasn’t able to do that in ’04 here, so that tells you that he’s doing a little more with his repertoire,” said Jorge Posada, who caught Vazquez this morning. “The slider has been something new. He had it but never used it much (in ’04).”
UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Here’s the audio from Vazquez.
And here’s the audio from Posada, who talked about Vazquez but also answered a question about Zach McAllister — Posada caught McAllister today – and talked about Johnny Damon going to Detroit.
The picture is of the four catcher’s during this morning’s first bullpen session. From left to right: Posada, Rivera, Montero, Cervelli.