For the first time since last season’s Tommy John surgery, Joba Chamberlain pitched off a full mound this morning. He threw just 16 pitches, a typically light workload for a player getting on a mound for the first time.
“Sixteen pitches, you don’t think that’s much,” Chamberlain said. “But when you haven’t been on a mound since June, your legs get a little tired just from warming up, throwing my long-toss, then my flat ground, before I got on the mound. My legs are a little tired, which is a good feeling. Towards about 10, I could start to feel it. And that’s when you rely on your mechanics and trust your motion. I think I did a pretty good job of that. That’s a part of continuing to build up off the full mound, is getting to 25-30 pitches and getting legs under you.”
Chamberlain is still hoping he’ll be back sooner than expected. He has a best-case scenario in his head, but he said he’s going to “do a Mo” and not tell anyone.
“Everything went great,” Chamberlain said. “It looks like it’s a long ways away I can tell you that much. But it’s a great feeling. It’s great to just be able to get up there and trust my arm, and trust the work I’ve put in to this point. Just to let it go, it’s free and easy. And there’s really minimal effort to get it over there. It was just nice to be able to get on there and get this new chapter started and start the process from here and move on.”
• Speaking of Tommy John surgery, David Aardsma has arrived. The former closer said this morning that he’s been throwing from 90 feet for five minutes at a time. I think the Yankees usually talk about rehab stuff in terms of total pitches, not total minutes, but Aardsma is obviously coming from another organization. How much longer will it be before he’s on a mound? “I try to stay away from asking,” Aardsma said.
• Aardsma said several teams were interested in signing him, but most wanted to wait until after spring training, when rosters were set. “Right from the get go, the Yankees were the most aggressive team coming after me,” he said. The Yankees wanted to do a deal right away, and Aardsma liked that. He’s expecting to stay in Tampa for his rehab.
• Based on usual Tommy John rehab, Aardsma is eyeing the all-star break as a potential return date, but he’s really trying not to think too far ahead. He said he doesn’t want to rush. “We’ve got a bullpen than can handle themselves,” he said. “… Really, when it happen, it happens.”
• Rafael Soriano threw an early side this morning, meaning the key pieces of the late-inning Bridge To Mo were all on a mound already today. Dave Robertson and Boone Logan threw batting practice to David Adams and Corban Joseph this morning.
• Speaking of which, I talked a little bit with Adams this morning. He said he’s still not quite 100 percent on his ankle. That injury has taken much longer than expected to heal, but Adams has been able to go through regular drills, with his only limitations coming in conditioning. He said he feels pretty good, and you can tell he’s anxious to get going after missing almost two full seasons. He’s a legit prospect, with a big bat for a second baseman.
• Andy Pettitte is listed as a batting practice pitcher, but it looks like he’s supposed to throw batting practice in the indoor cage rather than on the field. Can’t say for sure though. Sometimes that schedule is a little confusing.
• One workout added to the schedule today: Bunting drills, strictly for Brett Gardner and Dewayne Wise.
• Thought it was vaguely interesting that one of today’s outfield drills is called “gap communication.” Should be subtitled, “How to say, ‘I got it.’”
• Tomorrow’s early batting practice pitchers: Adam Miller, Mike O’Connor, Cesar Cabral, Ryan Pope and Chase Whitley.
• One projected big leaguer is throwing batting practice this afternoon. Today’s batting practice pitchers:
Ivan Nova (to Jose Gil)
Clay Rapada (to Jose Gil)
Dan Burawa (to Gary Sanchez)
Kevin Whelan (to Gary Sanchez)
Graham Stoneburner (to Kyle Higashioka)
David Phelps (to J.R. Murphy)
Adam Warren (to J.R. Murphy)
Manny Delcarmen (to Gustavo Molina)
Brett Marshall (to Addison Maruszak)
Juan Cedeno (to Addison Maruszak)
• Today’s batting practice groups are pretty much the same as always, except that Austin Romine is no longer listed and David Adams has moved into the group with Derek Jeter, essentially taking Robinson Cano’s place.
David Adams, Derek Jeter, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez
Eric Chavez, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Doug Bernier
Russell Branyan, Bill Hall, Jayson Niz, Jorge Vazquez
Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Kyle Higashioka, Gary Sanchez
Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Nick Swisher
Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell, Cole Garner, Dewayne Wise
Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Melky Mesa, Corban Joseph
Addison Maruszak, Russell Martin, J.R. Murphy, Gustavo Molina
• Same fielding groups, with Cano and Romine still listed here:
C: Kyle Higashioka, Russell Martin, Gustavo Molina, J.R. Murphy
INF: Russell Branyan, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Derek Jeter, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez
OF: Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Justin Maxwell
C: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
INF: David Adams, Doug Bernier, Corban Joseph, Jayson Nix, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Vazquez
OF: Chris Dickerson, Brett Gardner, Cole Garner, Melky Mesa, Nick Swisher, Dewayne Wise
Associated Press photo