Although several Yankees pitchers seem ahead of schedule this spring – most of the minor leaguers in big league camp have already faced hitters – general manager Brian Cashman said the change in early pitching workload is strictly because of a schedule shift, not a philosophical change.
“It’s a shorter spring training (before the spring opener) because of the new basic agreement,” Cashman said. “We have a shorter time to get the team ready between now and Opening Day, so the programs are different.”
The Yankees the first spring game is a week from tomorrow, February 23. Last year’s was March 2.
Over the winter, the Yankees made some personnel changes to their minor league pitching instructors, and some minor league pitchers said their offseason instructions from the team included an earlier-than-usual throwing program, but Cashman said the accelerated schedule has nothing to do with the Yankees trying to build arm strength differently. He also said it’s not a reaction to the pitching injuries that popped up in the past year.
Associated Press photo