Everyone seems to have the same first impression of Michael Pineda.
“Big guy, man,” Freddy Garcia said. “You know, he had a great season last year. He’s got a power arm. But now he’s here in New York. Now he’s got an adjustment, because it’s different to pitch in Seattle and here in New York. Different division… Last year nobody knows him. This year he has to prove how good he is.”
This afternoon in Clearwater, the Yankees get their first real look at Pineda in pinstripes. Yes, he’s thrown batting practice a few times, but today he’ll be on the mound, in a game, facing live hitters trying to win a ballgame.
“It’s always better to look at a guy that’s got a power arm like that when he’s on your side,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m anxious to see him throw a couple changeups too, see if it works.”
• Mariano Rivera threw a 28-pitch batting practice session today. Girardi drove him to the field in a golf cart, then Chris Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli took their hacks. Dickerson had a couple of would-have-been hits and celebrated the fact he didn’t break a bat. “The next one is a big one,” Rivera said. “(Find out) how you bounce back.”
• Girardi said Rivera will likely throw another batting practice on Thursday and could be in a game on Sunday. Rivera said he wasn’t sure when he’d pitch in a game, but this weekend made sense.
• Random moment from BP: Cervelli lined a ball off the screen in front of Rivera. A pitch or two later, Rivera went inside and Cervelli had to jump out of the way. “That’s what happens when you hit one,” Girardi yelled.
• Rafael Soriano also threw BP this morning. He went 26 pitches. Girardi was happy with both of his late-inning relievers.
• Tomorrow, D.J. Mitchell, Freddy Garcia and Joba Chamberlain each have sides.
• Five pitchers threw sides today: Brad Meyers, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, David Phelps and Ivan Nova.
• Today’s available pitchers: Dave Robertson, Cesar Cabral, Dan Burawa, Adam Miller, Ryan Pope, Juan Cedeno, Graham Stoneburner, Brett Marshall, Mike O’Connor
• Today’s second string: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Ramiro Pena, 3B Brandon Laird, LF Zoilo Almonte, CF Melky Mesa, RF Colin Curtis, DH Justin Maxwell
• Tomorrow’s traveling players:
Pitchers: Cesar Cabral, Phil Hughes, Brett Marshall, Mike O’Connor, CC Sabathia, Graham Stoneburner, Adam Warren, Kevin Whelan, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: David Adams, Doug Bernier, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Brandon Laird, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Vazquez
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Chris Dickerson, Andruw Jones, Justin Maxwell, Melky Mesa, Dewayne Wise
UPDATE, 11:11 a.m.: Hunter Pence is back in there for the Phillies.
Jimmy Rollins SS
Placido Polanco 3B
Shane Victorino CF
Jim Thome DH
Hunter Pence RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Domonic Brown LF
Brian Schneider C
Kevin Frandsen 2B
Associated Press photo and a cell phone photo (you can tell which is which)