The weight issue won’t quite go away here in Tampa. Alex Rodriguez arrived in camp a little bit lighter. Buster Olney reported it was 10 pounds lighter. Joe Girardi said it wasn’t quite that much. Whatever the exact number, it’s more than a pound or two, but not so much that Rodriguez looks drastically different.
“Sometimes guys just feel like they want to be a little bit lighter,” Girardi said. “It might add to their game. Physically they might bounce back quicker. That’s not uncommon for a player to try to put more energy into their body, and sometimes it is by not having to carry so much mass.”
Girardi said he didn’t know Rodriguez was planning to lose weight until Rodriguez reported to camp. But seeing him, Girardi has no complaints.
“This is just the weight that he showed up,” Girardi said. “He showed up in very good shape, so I’m not going to complain about that.”
“I’m careful to not try to push players right now or to say a whole lot to pitchers — we need a little bit more, your breaking ball’s not quite as sharp – because I don’t want them trying to overdo it,” Girardi said. “Sometimes there might even be a guy that’s throwing the ball well, and if I come around I see that he missed a couple of spots, I might just move on (if it’s) a young guy. I don’t want them thinking, gosh, the manager’s watching. Just let them go about their business. There will be plenty of time to evaluate.”
• That said, five pitchers threw batting practice to actual hitters early this morning: Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, Dave Robertson, Brian Anderson and Manny Banuelos. “Some guys got an early morning wakeup call at 8:15,” Girardi said.
• Eight more pitchers will throw BP tomorrow. Girardi didn’t say who.
• Because there are fewer workout days, there will be no intrasquad games before the actual spring schedule.
• Girardi said he knows who he wants to start the spring opener, but he wants to wait a few days to make sure that pitcher is still good to go. He promised to make the announcement on Tuesday.
• When he finished hitting, Jorge Posada spent some time at first base. Girardi said it’s possible Posada could see some time at the position this spring, but whether he’s a legitimate option at first during the season depends on who else is on the roster. “Is it a viable option? Is it an emergency option? A lot of it depends on the makeup of your roster,” Girardi said.
• Kevin Russo was listed as an infielder today, but he instead worked as an outfielder during drills. He said he expects to work in the infield tomorrow.
• Random infield assignments: Eric Chavez, Brad Suttle and Brandon Laird did their infield work at third base, and Jorge Vazquez got his time at first. Those four will probably spend time at both infield corners this spring. Ronnie Belliard and Doug Bernier got time at both second base and shortstop, though the time at short was just fielding grounders. I doubt Belliard is being looked at as a shortstop option. Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez both worked at shortstop.
• Tino Martinez has arrived in Yankees camp as a guest instructor.
• Girardi and his staff are still discussing possible team outings. Not sure what it will be this year.
Associated Press photos of Jeter with Rodriguez during stretch; Nova in the bullpen; and Andruw Jones in the outfield