It wasn’t listed in the clubhouse, but Andy Pettitte did in fact throw a bullpen today.
“As good of a bullpen as I’ve caught all spring from anyone,” Russell Martin said. “I don’t know what the velocity was and what his arm strength feels, but as far as executing pitches, it was pretty impressive.”
Joe Girardi didn’t even watch the bullpen, but Mike Harkey stood in the box for the last few pitches so that Pettitte could work on a few sequences. Pettitte stopped briefly in the clubhouse after he pitched only to say that it went well and he felt good. He said his adrenalin picked up after a couple of pitches because that’s when Martin got behind hte plate.
“I’d never caught him before so I had no knowledge of him,” Martin said. “I had no base of what I’m used to seeing from him. I was just going in there like a 2-year-old kid not really knowing what’s going to happen. … He looked great. He threw all his pitches and he just kept executing pitch after pitch after pitch. I think it’s just a matter of him getting his pitch count up right now. It’s just one bullpen, but it was a really good one.”
• Derek Jeter told Girardi that he feels fine today, but Girardi is still a little cautious because of last year’s calf injury, and so he’s giving Jeter three more days before putting him in a game. He’ll condition and take batting practice inside today, then do conditioning and BP on the field tomorrow, then do the same plus running the bases on the dirt Thurday and finally play on Friday.
• If this were the regular season, Girardi said Jeter probably would have missed a couple of games with the calf injury, but not this much time. “If it was the regular season, he might play today,” Girardi said. “I probably would have let him go through everything, and he might play today. Because it’s not, I don’t have to do that.”
• Obviously things are fine with Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Eduardo Nunez. All of them are in the lineup today.
• Freddy Garcia’s bullpen went as expected and Girardi said he’ll check with Larry Rothschild to find out whether Garcia might be ready to pitch in Friday’s game.
• Dave Robertson also came through today’s bullpen with no problems. The Yankees have decided to have him throw a batting practice later this week, but he should be in a game after that.
• Girardi said there’s at least a chance Pettitte will be able to get into a game before the Yankees break camp, but he acknowledged that Pettitte’s final streps of preparation will come away from the big league coaching staff. Girardi wil rely on others to tell him when Pettitte is ready. “The people that are going to see him have seen him before,” Girardi said. “They’re going ot have something to judge him on, where he was in 2010 to where he is now. I don’t think their emotions are going to get in the way. I really don’t. These are guys that have been doing it a long time and have put clubs together and understand the importance of making sure their decisions are right.”
• Girardi on Michael Pineda heading into tonight’s start: “I understand why everyone’s asking the questions. People want to see (velocity). People want to see 95, 96. But for me the bottom line is outs. … I get concerned about him trying to do too much and maybe sometimes trying to answer what he would perceive that I’m worried about, and that’s why I’m putting the notion out there. I’m worried about outs. I’m not worried about velocity.”
• With several long relief options now reassigned to minor league camp, the leading candidates for the last spot in the Yankees bullpen seem to be all of the second lefties still in camp. Are the Yankees planning to carry a second lefty at this point? “We could,” Girardi said. “I think you have to see how the starters shake out and do you have enough length out of a enough guys down there that you feel, if a guy gets knocked out early, are you covered? I think those are the things that you’re concerned about. It’s nice to have a long guy and then another guy that you feel can give you multiple innings. You don’t have to have that, but it’s nice.”
• Branden Pinder is up for the day from minor league camp, but it’s not likely he’ll actually get in the game. Random guys named Rivera and Soriano seem to be the priorities.
• Today’s long list of sides: Pettitte, Garcia, Robertson, Dellin Betances, D.J. Mitchell, Kevin Whelan, David Phelps, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia.
• Brad Meyers is throwing BP tomorrow.
• Today’s available pitchers: Michael Pineda, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, George Kontos, Clay Rapada, Mike O’Connor, Juan Cedeno, Cesar Cabral and Branden Pinder.
• Today’s second string: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B Eric Chavez, 2B Ramiro Pena, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Jayson Nix, LF Bill Hall, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Colin Curtis, DH Raul Ibanez
• Traveling to Port Charlotte tomorrow
Pitchers: Cesar Cabral, Juan Cedeno, Phil Hughes, Mike O’Connor, Clay Rapada, Adam Warren
Catchers: Jose Gil, Russell Martin, Gustavo Molina
Infielders: Doug Bernier, Robinson Cano, Bill Hall, Brandon Laird, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Vazquez
Outfielders: Colin Curtis, Chris Dickerson, Cole Garner, Raul Ibanez, Justin Maxwell, Dewayne Wise
Associated Press photos