Get that Enter Sandman track ready to play.
Mariano Rivera is expected to arrive in Yankees camp tomorrow. He talked to Joe Girardi last night and said he would fly to Tampa tonight, arriving in time to report to camp in the morning. He’s been away to stay with one of his kids, who’s sick with something flu-like.
“Whenever Mo gets here is fine,” Brian Cashman said.
Truth is, Rivera wouldn’t be pitching right now even if he were in camp. He follows his own schedule and doesn’t start throwing until much later. This early in camp, all he does is long toss and fielding drills. In theory, how long could he wait to actually show up?
“As long as we don’t let it out – I don’t want him getting any ideas next year – he could have went for a while,” Joe Girardi said.
• Sounds like the infield is a priority for the Yankees bench. Girardi said the team might very well carry Andrew Jones as the only reserve outfielder, leaving room for both a utility man and a second backup infielder (maybe Eric Chavez or Ronnie Belliard). “The dynamics of how many outfielders we carry probably depends on the infielders,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of Jones, he stopped by the clubhouse this afternoon and said he chose the Yankees largely because he thought it was a good opportunity to get fairly regular playing time. “I look at him more as a corner guy that’s going to play against lefties, a lot sometimes,” Girardi said. Girardi said he doesn’t need Jones in center field — “Not with the two guys that we have,” he said — so he’ll simply move Brett Gardner to center field on the days Curtis Granderson gets a day off.
• Girardi said the Yankees could find creative ways to get Jesus Montero or Austin Romine at-bats if they were to break camp as the backup catcher. “You can develop a lot playing twice a week too at this level,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said it’s “fair to say” it’s a three-man race for the backup catching job: Montero, Romine and Francisco Cervelli.
• Cashman on releasing Neal Cotts: “You go through the medicals for a reason. He had his physical, and from that, we decided to release him.”
• Hector Noesi is still dealing with visa issues. It’s unclear when he’ll actually arrive in Tampa.
• The New York Post reported this morning that catching prospect Gary Sanchez was sent for medical tests on his heart, but the test revealed nothing serious. “There’s no worries now with Gary Sanchez,” Cashman said. “Simple as that. Nothing more to talk about.”
• Nick Swisher was among the position players hitting at the Yankees minor league complex today.
• One non-weight note about Joba Chamberlain: He’s made a small adjustment with his hands during his delivery. “When I talked to (Larry Rothschild) about the idea, he said yeah, that was one of the things that I noticed,” Chamberlain said. “Just my hands traveling away from the center of my body, and that’s when your hand doesn’t catch up. And that’s where they were when I first got called up. I thought I’d go back and try that to get away from my hands being back up here because I bounce a lot and don’t get over the rubber.”
Associated Press photos: Cashman, Billy Eppler and Girardi watching the bullpen sessions; Pedro Feliciano throwing a bullpen