A.J. Burnett threw his first bullpen this morning. Roughly 30 pitches, all fastballs. It was his first time on a mound since the end of last season.
“You get anxious,” Burnett said. “Especially after last year. You want to come in and be ready to go.”
Cervelli said Burnett looked sharp — “Very good,” Cervelli said — but at this stage, it’s more about knocking off the rust than hitting the corners. Burnett said most of his offseason work with Larry Rothschild focused on his lower half, making sure he didn’t swing open. Ultimately, Burnett said last year’s struggles were a mental issue, and he has to move on.
“Just mentally staying right,” Burnett said. “I think every time we talked last year, the good games, I was there. I was locked in. The bad games, I think mentally I wasn’t there. It’s a matter of staying on top of my game, paying attention to every pitch and doing what I did before last year, which was not letting anything bother me. Not worrying about a thing, going out there one pitch at a time until Skip takes me out. If I do that, I’ll be fine.”
• As a precaution because of his offseason knee surgery, Jorge Posada will not catch a bullpen until next week. He’ll go through the regular catching drills — he’ll squat and said the knee doesn’t bother him right now — but the Yankees want to give him a week before they push him into a bullpen session.
• I’ll have more on Posada later, but he seemed at peace with the idea of being a fulltime designated hitter. He called himself the third-string emergency catcher, then laughed at the idea. He admitted it was hard to hear at first, but now he’s hoping this keeps him healthy enough for 500-plus at-bats. He hasn’t had that many since 2007.
• One non-catcher position player will be in camp today, with Brett Gardner coming to camp to do some work, including batting practice with the catchers. I have to assume this is all part of his rehab from wrist surgery.
• CC Sabathia will throw his first bullpen today. He’ll throw to his likely Opening Day catcher, Russell Martin.
• Brian Schlitter was designated for assignment yesterday, but he’s still in camp and will throw a bullpen today.
• Scheduled bullpen sessions (with catchers):
Bartolo Colon (to Gustavo Molina)
Freddy Garcia (to Francisco Cervelli)
Sergio Mitre (to Jesus Montero)
CC Sabathia (to Russell Martin)
Luis Ayala (to Jose Gil)
Boone Logan (to Jesus Montero)
Mark Prior (to Austin Romine)
Buddy Carlyle (to Kyle Higashioka)
Robert Fish (to Francisco Cervelli)
Ryan Pope (to Gustavo Molina)
Brian Schlitter (to Jose Gil)
• Hitting groups:
Associated Press photo of Burnett and Cervelli after today’s bullpen