Michael Pineda played catch again today, and he’ll do long toss tomorrow. When the Yankees leave for Baltimore, Pineda will stay behind to continue his rehab work in Tampa.
“I think if he wouldn’t have been able to play catch we wouldn’t have been too excited,” Joe Girardi said. “But he was able to play catch today and he felt pretty good. … I think it’s too early to tell. I think it’s too early until you see him get off the mound and see how he’s feeling and really draw up a plan. How many rehab starts do you think he needs? A lot of it is, how long does it take him to get off a mound?”
Girardi said getting Pineda off a mound next week might be rushing it, and he expects Pineda to miss all of April, but he seems to think early May is reasonable. Girardi also acknowledged that this DL stint might go a little longer than simply getting rid of the tendinitis, the Yankees might also use this to build some additional arm strength to make sure Pineda is truly 100 percent.
“We’ll determine by the way he’s throwing when he’s ready,” Girardi said. “Maybe not so much by velocity, but how he’s throwing, his command and his location. But velocity is part of his game.”
• In the clubhouse today, most of the Yankees were wearing grey t-shirts with the number 1 and degree symbol on the front and the words Mind, Heart, Guts on the back. It’s a motto that mental coniditioning coach Chad Bohling came up with to represent getting one degree better every day.
• Boone Logan felt fine after playing catch yesterday. He did some running this morning and his back felt fine. “Good to go,” he said. Girardi said he’ll check with Logan right before the game to make sure he’s available in the bullpen.
• Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen today and will make a start on Monday. Girardi said that start will come in extended spring training. “He said his arm felt great,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said he hasn’t decided who will DH tomorrow, but there’s a “pretty good chance” it will be either Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter. The Yankees are planning to have Eduardo Nunez in the lineup tomorrow.
• Girardi said there are no concerns about the fact CC Sabathia wasn’t especially sharp this spring. “I don’t make too much of CC’s spring,” Girardi said. “I haven’t found that he’s had real strong springs during the course of the time that we’ve been here, and he comes out and throws the ball well.”
• Day game today, night game tomorrow, day game Sunday, night game Monday. Girardi said he’s not sure how many of those games Russell Martin will play. He’ll check with Martin after tomorrow night’s game, and if Martin doesn’t have the day off Sunday, he’ll be off either Monday or Tuesday.
• Generic comment about Opening Day: “Very anxious,” Girardi said. “I think you look forward to this day from the day we get to spring training. I’ve actually been looking forward to it since last year. We had a good spring training. I was happy with it. We got everything done we needed to. Now it’s time to play for real.”
Associated Press photo