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Friday morning notes: Rivera faces hitters for the first time since surgery

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 22, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

For the first time since last year’s season-ending surgery, Mariano Rivera faced hitters this morning. He got on the mound against Rob Segedin and Kyle Roller for live batting practice, and he was calling his own strikes.

“Basically just wanted to see the hitters, that’s it,” Rivera said. “I don’t do nothing different than the bullpen, but seeing the hitters, seeing how they swing at the ball. … The first BP that I threw in almost a year. I’m really happy with the results. It will get better. The longer I keep throwing, it will get better.”

Rivera said there’s not a lot for him to learn from an early batting practice. He was happy with the movement on his cutter and happy with his location, but those two things have never been a concern.

“It feels real good there,” Rivera said. “The big thing of this is doing the real thing; covering first base, fielding bunts, all that stuff. The rest is good.”

As for retirement…

“I don’t know,” Rivera said. “I will let you know. Not today. Today is not the day.”

• Jorge Posada has arrived as a guest instructor. He was out watching Rivera’s batting practice.

• As scheduled, Mark Montgomery threw a 25-pitch bullpen this morning. “Everything went well,” he said. Montgomery threw all of his pitches and said he’ll play catch tomorrow, then face hitters on Sunday. He said his back hasn’t bothered him at all recently.

• One other notable bullpen: Michael Pineda threw another 25 fastballs this morning. He said he’ll throw 30 pitches next time, and he’ll also begin throwing changeups. So far he’s only thrown changeups when playing catch. He hasn’t thrown them off a mound. Pineda said once again that his shoulder feels fine and he’s stopped thinking about it when he goes to pitch.

• Emailed Mark Newman this morning. He said Pat Venditte will pitch only as a left-handed pitcher in the World Baseball Classic. That’s because Venditte had surgery on his right shoulder last year and hasn’t been cleared to pitch right-handed yet. “A new answer to a new question,” Newman wrote. Certainly not a question I ever expected to ask.

• A few players will stay in Tampa when the team travels to play the Braves tomorrow. Vidal Nuno will throw a side (preparing for his start on Monday), while Joba Chamberlain, Zach Nuding and Jose Ramirez will throw simulated games. Cito Culver and Addison Maruszak will stay behind to hit in the sim games.

• No defensive drills listed for today, but I did see several players out taking ground balls early this morning on a back field.

• Tomorrow’s travel squad:

Pitchers: Juan Cedeno, Preston Claiborne, Brett Marshall, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, David Phelps, Branden Pinder, Ryan Pope, Francisco Rondon, Josh Spence, Nik Turley, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Francisco Cervelli, Kyle Higashioka, J.R. Murphy, Austin Romine
Infielders: Robinson Cano, Walter Ibarra, Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Luke Murton, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Mark Teixeira, Gil Velazquez
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Tyler Austin, Matt Diaz, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Slade Heathcott, Melky Mesa, Juan Rivera

• Several sim games/batting practice sessions this morning.

Field 1
Facing Corban Joseph and Addison Maruszak
Matt Daley (throwing to Kyle Higashioka)
Nick Goody (Francisco Cervelli)
Andy Pettitte (Cervelli)
Facing Kyle Roller and Rob Segedin
Mariano Rivera (Bobby Wilson)
Dave Robertson (Chris Stewart)

Field 2
Facing Tyler Austin and Greg Bird
Dellin Betances (Gary Sanchez)
Tom Kahnle (J.R. Murphy)
Facing Bird, Walter Ibarra and Thomas Neal
David Aardsma (Austin Romine)
Clay Rapada (Francisco Arcia)

• Today’s sides:

Ivan Nova (Sanchez)
CC Sabathia (Higashioka)
Shawn Kelley (Murphy)
Josh Spence (Cervelli)
Corey Black (Wilson)
Shane Greene (Romine)
Bryan Mitchell (Stewart)
Francisco Rondon (Arcia) 

• Batting practice groups (unchanged):

Group 1
Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez

Group 2
Dan Johnson, Jayson Nix, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis

Group 3
Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Juan Rivera, Ichiro Suzuki

Group 4
Matt Diaz, Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal

Group 5
Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, Luke Murton, Gil Velazquez

Group 6
Zoilo Almonte, Slade Heathcott, Kyle Roller, Rob Segedin

Group 7
Greg Bird, Cito Culver, Walter Ibarra, Jose Pirela

Group 8
Tyler Austin, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia

Cell phone photo of Rivera, Associated Press photo of Montgomery





20 Responses to “Friday morning notes: Rivera faces hitters for the first time since surgery”

  1. Yankee Trader February 22nd, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I’m reposting the article on the Top 30 Yankee Prospects for 2013 from It’s About the Money, if you are interested in their take on these prospects:

    They have Angelo Gumbs listed as the highest infield prospect.

    8. Angelo Gumbs (2B):
    An infielder who has a lot of tools and a high ceiling, Gumbs seems to get better as he moves up. He started 2012 in Charleston pretty slow, but once he adjusted to the Sally League he made quite the impact. At the end of the year he had a line of .272/.320/.432, with seven homers, fourteen doubles and an 26 stolen bases. Gumbs uses the whole field and has great bat speed, making him a big threat at the plate. He has good speed on the bases, but what makes him dangerous is his aggressiveness. Gumbs is still adjusting to playing second base, but his good range, hands and strong arm should make him a solid second baseman.

  2. Ys Guy February 22nd, 2013 at 10:55 am

    donny, add r. howard to utley and roberts, although in all cases i’ll have a b/u plan…

  3. Yankee Trader February 22nd, 2013 at 10:57 am


    It looks like Rivera might be wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right knee. Is he using one?

  4. blake February 22nd, 2013 at 11:07 am

    yea I think Rivera said he’d wear a brace

  5. Ys Guy February 22nd, 2013 at 11:12 am

    and vmart in any league where he has C availability.

  6. Tackelberry February 22nd, 2013 at 11:14 am

    If they resign Cano then Gumbs has to switch positions or he becomes trade bait

  7. Shame Spencer February 22nd, 2013 at 11:14 am

    When is Rivera supposed to make his ‘what am I doing next year’ announcement? I really don’t think he’s going to retire yet.. but that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

    (Also, I took a vacation day today and planned on working my way through House of Cards.. but I’ve gotten stuck watching a show called ‘Small Potatoes’ on the Disney channel and I’m not sure I can look away..)

  8. Yankee Trader February 22nd, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Time to go.

    Blake – Hope your soon to be expanded family is doing well.

    Until later.

  9. Yankee Trader February 22nd, 2013 at 11:17 am


    I believe Rivera said he’ll make the announcement just before opening day.

    Have a great day all.

  10. Shame Spencer February 22nd, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Trader.. I suppose it looks like he will hang ‘em up but I hope his announcement goes something like ‘eh, I’m still not sure yet.’

  11. Rich in NJ February 22nd, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Rivera could always change his mind even after he makes an announcement. He’s only human. Oh wait…

  12. Duh Innings II February 22nd, 2013 at 11:43 am

    The Yankees should forbid Mo to do his pre-game game of catch, too bad if he doesn’t like it. He’s being paid $25M to close this year as he did nothing for his $15M last season but hurt the Yanks with his selfishness. He works for the Yankees not vice versa and is too old to risk reinjury or another injury.

    He was ridiculous to say he will continue to do the pre-game catch ritual. Oh, you mean the ritual you got away with for fifteen years until it finally caught up to you and not only cost the Yankees $15M but Soriano as a 2013 Yankee, too, as thanks to your fun time Soriano was given a chance to showcase himself as a closer, had a great year as one, opted out to get a better deal, and got a better deal. I don’t wanna hear D-Rob got hurt and that’s why Soriano became the closer, that was only one of two reasons, the other reason being Mo got injured, and D-Rob doesn’t become the closer (albeit briefly) if Mo doesn’t get injured thus Soriano doesn’t become the closer if Mo doesn’t get injured.

    Had Mo not played catch last year, the 2013 Yankees bullpen would’ve been set with Mo, Soriano, Robertson, Logan, Rapada, and Aardsma with Chamberlain, Eppley, Phelps, Kelley (still traded for) etc. as plenty of reinforcement. One could argue this could’ve set up the Yankees to trade two relievers – perhaps Soriano and Aardsma – save Mo for hitting. The Yanks could’ve marketed Soriano and Aardsma as low-risk high-reward closers: Soriano a one-year $11M proposition, Aardsma a one-year whatever he’s making in 2013 proposition. They’d still have Rivera, Robertson, Logan, Rapada, Chamberlain, Eppley, and one from Kelley, Phelps etc. to choose from for the final bullpen slot – the same bullpen as they have now minus Aardsma.

  13. Jerkface February 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Oh, you mean the ritual you got away with for fifteen years until it finally caught up to you and not only cost the Yankees

    You mean the ritual all pitchers do every game?

  14. Ys Guy February 22nd, 2013 at 11:47 am

    “Duh Innings II February 22nd, 2013 at 11:43 am

    The Yankees should forbid Mo to do his pre-game game of catch, too bad if he doesn’t like it. He’s being paid $25M to close this year”
    im sure mo will be glad to hear they’re gonna pay him $15M above what his contract says,

    but you want to take him out of the routine that’s worked his entire career.


  15. Rich in NJ February 22nd, 2013 at 11:49 am

    His posts are too long to read. But I am willing to read a one sentence excerpt.

    Seriously? That’s just silly.

  16. tomingeorgia February 22nd, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    He doesn’t have time to make them shorter.

  17. Ys Guy February 22nd, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    gardner has a better obp than ichiro the last 3 seasons, sees almost 1 full pitch more per plate appearance and steals twice as many bases.

    so you guys want ichiro batting first?

  18. Chad Jennings February 22nd, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Yankee Trader February 22nd, 2013 at 10:57 am e

    It looks like Rivera might be wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right knee. Is he using one?

    Yes, Mo has said he’ll be wearing a light brace.

  19. 4 NYY February 22nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    It was just a freak accident by Mo. I’ve never heard of anything other than getting hit by a batted ball as pitchers ‘play’ the outfield.

    He says he’s fine, that’s it. Light brace is a just a little insurance.

  20. John in Ohio February 22nd, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Hey Gang

    How is Pat Venditte’s name pronounced? Is it Ven-DITT, or is it Ven-DITT-ee?

    Thanks. I’ll hang up and wait for your answer.

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