The Yankees say they’re going to take things slow with Andy Pettitte, but after yesterday’s 50-pitch bullpen, they’ve already decided he’s ready to face hitters. Pettitte will throw batting practice on Friday, just three days after he officially arrived in spring training.
“Larry’s happy with where he’s at with his bullpen,” Joe Girardi said. “A lot of guys throw two or three bullpens (before they face hitters). Andy threw one for us 10 days ago and he threw another one in between at home.”
Girardi said the Yankees plan for a full six-to-seven-week spring training is still intact, but they consider his spring training to have started with that secret bullpen last Tuesday, which means he’s already more than a week into that schedule.
“We just have to watch his legs is the most important part,” Girardi said. “He’s thrown probably eight or nine bullpens, probably more than a lot of guys had thrown when they got here. Spring training is usually six and a half weeks, so we’ll just have to wait and see. As of right now I don’t think (that timetable is unrealistic), but we might change our mind as we see things progress.”
• Nick Swisher reported no additional problems this morning. “I saw him early this morning and he said he was OK,” Girardi said. “We’ll just take it day-by-day and decide when we’re going to get him back in there. There’s no rush. I think Swish is in a pretty good place. If it takes a few days, it takes a few days.”
• Derek Jeter is still on track to return to the lineup on Friday.
• Dave Robertson will throw batting practice on Friday. He should get in a game after that.
• Freddy Garcia will pitch in Saturday’s game against the Tigers. The Yankees haven’t said whether he’ll start, but that’s my guess. It would be the normal turn for whichever starter pitched on Monday, but that was an offday, so Garcia fits nicely.
• Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Friday’s road game against the Phillies. Ivan Nova will pitch at home against the Twins. Originally, those assignments were flipped, but the Yankees decided they didn’t want Minnesota to get a good look at Kuroda. The Twins play in New York early this season, and obviously they haven’t seen much of a pitcher who spent his entire career in the National League.
• To get here in time for Girardi, I had to leave Tampa early without stopping by the clubhouse, so I don’t have the second string lineup, but the Yankees did travel with these extra players: C Jose Gil, C Gustavo Molina, SS Doug Bernier, INF Bill Hall, 3B Brandon Laird, INF Jayson Nix, SS Ramiro Pena, INF Jose Pirela, 1B Jorge Vazquez, OF Colin Curtis, OF Ray Kruml, OF Justin Maxwell.
• Other pitchers on this trip: Cory Arbiso, Cesar Cabral, Juan Cedeno, Preston Claiborne, Mike O’Connor, Mark Montgomery, Clay Rapada and Adam Warren. Arbiso, Claiborne and Montgomery are up from the minor league complex.
Ben Zobrist RF
Luke Scott DH
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
Matt Joyce LF
Jeff Keppinger 2B
Jose Molina C
Sean Rodriguez SS
Jesus Feliciano CF
RHP Kyle Farnsworth
Associated Press photos