Before today’s bullpen sessions, Dave Robertson stood in right field playing catch alongside all of the other pitchers. But Robertson wasn’t throwing to a teammate, he was throwing to Triple-A pitching coach Scott Aldred. And he wasn’t doing a simple long toss, he was throwing as if from the stretch, occasionally with Aldred crouched like a catcher.
He was trying to refine his changeup.
“That stupid thing,” Robertson said. “You have it one day and the next day you don’t. I want to have it every day. But, it’s getting better.”
Robertson works mostly with a fastball-curveball combination, but he can also throw the changeup effectively. The problem is, his delivery occasionally gives it away, which ruins the deception. He sometimes pushes the ball, or lets his hand drag just before the release. Those are small mechanical adjustments, and he’s trying to get them just right.
• Andy Pettitte throws his first bullpen tomorrow. Thirty pitches, fastballs and changeups.
• Toward the end of CC Sabathia’s bullpen session, Francisco Cervelli started calling for his slider down and in (to a right-handed hitter). Cervelli practically put his glove flat on the ground to give Sabathia a target, and Sabathia was nailing his spot, perfectly to the ghost hitter’s back foot. “No one can hit that pitch,” Cervelli said.
• As indicated in the previous post, Joe Girardi expects to carry 12 pitchers on opening day. “Our guess is we’ll take 12,” he said. “That’s what I’ve thought we’ll do.”
• Brett Gardner on the versatility of the outfield: “You never know where one person might be playing,” Gardner said. “It could easily switch around on a daily basis. Just have to take balls everywhere. As we come together as a team, you work on communicating and where you’re playing and learning the different spots, get a feel for how everybody goes about things out there.”
• Position player physicals begin at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Girardi has said he’s excited about getting the full team together, but he said tomorrow doesn’t really count. “Tomorrow I’ve got to see them take physicals, that’s not really exciting,” he said. “I always think camp livens up. It gets louder up there, and I like it. I like for the noise level to go up.”
• Girardi said he expects everyone to report on time. He’s not aware of anyone who’s supposed to be late.
• Joba Chamberlain had a huge box full of smaller boxes in front of his locker today. It was his latest shipment of spikes. He said one pair lasts him only two or three starts.
• Pitchers who threw today:
First group: Aceves, Gaudin, Burnett, Sabathia
Second group: Albaladejo, Mitre, Robertson, Sanchez
Third group: De La Rosa, Pope, Ring, Segovia
Fourth group: Arias, Duff, Hirsh, Sanit
• First group pairings: Rivera caught Aceves, Romine caught Gaudin, Posada caught Burnett, Cervelli caught Sabathia.
• I double checked with director of player development Pat Roessler: Humberto Sanchez is not still in the organization. His name still gets mentioned in the comments and in emails from time to time, but he became a free agent this winter.