Very cool cell phone picture from my friend Erik Boland, who has the shot of the day with this picture of Mariano Rivera watching Andy Pettitte throw a bullpen this morning at the Yankees spring complex. It was the day’s main event; Rivera, Pettitte and CC Sabathia throwing their bullpens together.
For Rivera, it was his second official bullpen of the spring and the the latest test for his surgically repaired knee. But Rivera said he doesn’t think of each step as a hurdle, and he gains no peace of mind along the way.
“There’s no peace of mind where I say, ‘Ok, I feel good now,’” Rivera said. “No. I knew the job that I put in during the whole year, it’s been a hard job, and I always tell you guys that I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I’m capable to do this. I was expecting this. It feels good. Everything feels good.”
At this point, Rivera said, there’s no doubt that he’s able to pitch. He’s going through a fairly standard spring training routine, only doing his work a little earlier and while wearing a small brace.
“If I’m looking for something, I will be looking for the games,” Rivera said. “The reason why is because you have to react there. Bunting. Comebackers. Cover first. All that stuff. You can’t think, you have to react. That will be, I would say, the biggest test.”
Pitching isn’t the biggest test?
“You know how to do that,” Rivera said.
• Francisco Cervelli said he spoke to the manager for Team Italy back in December. Cervelli wanted to make sure everyone involved knew that he was unlikely to play in the World Baseball Classic. The team wanted to put him on the roster just in case, but Cervelli finalized the decision before spring training. “I talked to the manager a few days ago and he understood the situation,” Cervelli said.
• Cervelli said the Yankees told him he could play in the WBC if he wanted, but Cervelli didn’t want to leave camp when he has a chance to win the everyday job. “This is what I’ve been looking for,” he said.
• Juan Rivera has arrived in camp. So has Gil Velazquez, who actually looks a little bit like Eric Chavez and has the locker right next to the one Chavez used the past two years. At first glance, it looked like Chavez was back with the team.
• There were some early batting practice sessions here this morning.
David Phelps (throwing to Cervelli), Nik Turley (Cervelli), Nick Goody (Bobby Wilson) and Juan Cedeno (Wilson) faced a combination of Cervelli, J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez.
On another field, Jim Miller (throwing to Chris Stewart), Adam Warren (Stewart) and Brett Marshall (Austin Romine) faced a combination of Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka and Stewart.
• Today’s bullpens:
Andy Pettitte (Murphy)
Mariano Rivera (Sanchez)
CC Sabathia (Arcia)
Phil Hughes (Higashioka)
Hiroki Kuroda (Romine)
Dave Robertson (Sanchez)
David Aardsma (Murphy)
Dellin Betances (Arcia)
Clay Rapada (Higashioka)
Tom Kahnle (Romine)
Ryan Pope (Sanchez)
Shawn Kelley (Arcia)
• As I type this, the catchers are on the main field going through batting practice. They just went through a series of throwing drills.
Associated Press photo of Cervelli