I can tell you Damaso Marte is the guy I least expected to write about this morning, but when the clubhouse opened, there he was.
“I think I can pitch this season because I feel very good,” he said.
Although the Yankees haven’t been counting on Marte’s return, Marte he’s ready to do some strength exercises with those elastic tubes, and he actually thinks he might start throwing fairly soon.
Marte’s encouraged. Whether he can actually get back remains to be seen.
If you’re interested, Marte took the locker vacated by Dellin Betances. I’d say there’s a solid chance someone from that locker will pitch in New York this season, but I’m not sure which one is most likely.
• Speaking of unexpected guys in the clubhouse, George Kontos came up from the minor league complex to be available out of the bullpen. The Rule 5 pick said he was happy with the way he threw in Padres camp, but at some point it became clear they didn’t have a spot for him. He said he no longer feels any sort of discomfort in his Tommy John elbow, and some of the velocity is starting to come back on his fastball. He’s also added a two-seamer that’s been effective this spring.
• Eric Chavez was able to take batting practice today and said he’ll probably go through a full set of drills tomorrow. His calf got tight during Sunday’s game, but it felt better yesterday and Chavez seems completely unconcerned about the whole thing. And this is a guy who has reason to worry about injuries.
• Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia are throwing sides today.
• Surely at some point the Yankees will actually give Justin Snyder an at-bat in one of these big league games. He keeps coming over to the big league complex to be a backup, but he doesn’t have much to show for it.
• This was probably the quietest clubhouse of the spring. The guys who are making today’s trip got in and out quickly, and the guys who aren’t making the trip probably weren’t early risers after last night’s late game in Port Charlotte. Joe Girardi’s not meeting with the media until we get to Sarasota.
• Out of the bullpen: Joba Chameberlain, Mark Prior, Luis Ayala, Romulo Sanchez, Ryan Pope, Steve Garrison, George Kontos and Wilkins Arias.
• Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Ramiro Pena, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Justin Maxwell, CF Melky Mesa, RF Jordan Parraz
Associated Press photo