“I’m pretty optimistic about it,” he said. “I’m feeling good.”
After a breakout 2012 — when he shot from Low-A to Double-A in a single season — Austin underperformed last year, and the wrist might have had a lot to do with it. He tried to play through the soreness for a while but was eventually shut down and diagnosed with a bone bruise. He tried to play again in the Arizona Fall League, but wound up back on the shelf after feeling discomfort again. Back to baseball drills in January and feeling good heading into spring training, Austin began experiencing some soreness after a few days in big league camp.
The hope is, obviously, that this is just a minor bump in the road, but it’s obviously been a recurring problem. Austin went through a series of tests earlier this week to determine whether there’s something seriously wrong, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. He said he wasn’t sure of the exact diagnosis, he’s simply following the Yankees medical advice on how to deal with it (he also said the injection wasn’t cortisone, but presumably something similar).
Austin sounds encouraged, believing he could be swinging a bat again in a few days.
· Aside from Chase Whitley joking that he can’t understand why there’s so much media here on a day he’s not pitching, this was a very quiet morning in the Yankees clubhouse. Nothing particularly unusual about it, just a bunch of guys going about their business while everyone else awaits the spring debuts of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and — of course — Masahiro Tanaka. Believe it or not, there were multiple players in the Yankees clubhouse who didn’t realize all three of those guys were throwing today. Position player truly have little clue what the pitchers are doing on any given day, and vice versa.
· Matt Thornton was scheduled for a simulated game this morning. He was pitching to Gary Sanchez, facing Corban Joseph and Austin Romine. In terms of building arm strength, I assume that counts as roughly his first spring appearance (though sim games seem to carry less weight with relievers than with starters).
· Two pitchers threw bullpens this morning: David Phelps (to Jose Gil) and Jim Miller (to Francisco Arcia). At this point, guys are basically throwing bullpens as a part of their regular between-outings schedule.
· Yet another day with a catcher at DH, another catcher playing some first base, two catchers getting time behind the plate, and likely another catcher getting a DH at-bat or two off the bench. Some of that is simply because the Yankees have so many catchers in camp, but it’s been pointed out that this feels like the Yankees showcasing their catching depth.
· As expected, Alfonso Soriano is on the travel list for tomorrow. He will be making his spring debut. Brian McCann, who has been playing with the group making tomorrow’s trip, is not on the travel list and is instead getting a DH day today.
· Two very different former Yankees who made the trip with the Phillies for today’s game: Outfielder Bobby Abreu is in the Phillies lineup in right field; shortstop Reid Brignac is on their bench. I had totally forgotten Abreu was in Phillies camp, and I’m not sure I ever knew that Brignac had signed with them.
· Today’s scheduled relievers: Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, Cesar Cabral and Dellin Betances (Robert Coello, Chris Leroux and Yoshinori Tateyama are also listed as available relievers if necessary).
· Batting practice groups:
Group 1: Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki, Francisco Cervelli
Group 2: Brett Gardner, Kelly Johnson, Corban Joseph, Brian McCann
Group 3: Zoilo Almonte, Mason Williams, Jose Gil, John Ryan Murphy
Group 4: Dean Anna, Adonis Garcia, Antoan Richardson, Yangervis Solarte
Group 5: Carlos Beltran, Russ Canzler, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfonso Soriano
Group 6: Eduardo Nunez, Brendan Ryan, Scott Sizemore, Mark Teixeira
Group 7: Ramon Flores, Jose Pirela, Zelous Wheeler, Austin Romine
Group 8: Addison Maruszak, Francisco Arcia, Pete O’Brien, Gary Sanchez
· Tomorrow’s travel squad to Dunedin:
Pitchers: Bruce Billings, Dan Burawa, Matt Daley, Shane Greene, Chris Leroux, Fred Lewis, Bryan Mitchell, Mark Montgomery, Vidal Nuno
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Jose Gil, John Ryan Murphy, Pete O’Brien, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Dean Anna, Russ Canzler, Corban Joseph, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Brendan Ryan, Yangervis Solarte, Zelous Wheeler
Outfielders: Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Antoan Richardson, Alfonso Soriano, Mason Williams
Associated Press photos