Notes from Friday • 02.19.10
While Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were throwing their first official bullpen of the spring, Andy Pettitte followed the lead of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez. He stayed off the mound on Friday and will wait a few days before he starts his spring training throwing schedule.
“My body’s feeling good,” Pettitte said. “Everything feels good coming into the spring. I feel real good about that.”
Pettitte said the extra workload of the playoffs shouldn’t bother him because the Yankees did a good job of keeping their three-man, postseason rotation well rested at the end of the regular season. He feels fresh, and he was happy to see the team add another durable arm in Javier Vazquez. Those two had never met another until this winter, but they’ve already played golf together.
“You can’t ever have enough pitching, and not only is he a great pitcher, he’s a quality human being,” Pettitte said. “He’s going to be great here.”
• Joe Girardi on whether he’ll carry two lefties in the bullpen: “In a perfect world, you’d like to have two lefties. Last year we went with one lefty most of the time, and we were able to do it. We believe that our right-handers get left-handers out very well. You look at what Robertson did down there getting left-handers out, he was very successful. But in a perfect world, you’d love to have two because it gives you so many more options.”
• What’s the first thing Girardi looks for in his pitchers during spring training? “To me early, I want to see command of the fastball,” he said. “That’s extremely important. And that you pitch inside effectively. That’s important to us with all of our pitchers.”
• Yogi Berra was in the clubhouse this morning.
• Add David Winfree to the list of outfielders who have popped into the clubhouse. I really wish I could have covered him in Scranton. I went to say hello and it turned into a five minute conversation. Very easy to talk to. Also, he’s a big dude. I have absolutely no trouble believing he can hit a few balls out of the park. And he’s really excited about being a Yankee. He talked about the prestige of wearing the pinstripes.
• Greg Golson was also around for a little bit this afternoon. He popped in and out a few days ago, but I wasn’t sure it was him. This time I said hello, and Golson said he has something to prove after two teams sent him elsewhere. He was a lot like Winfree, very easy to talk to, seems to be out to prove himself. This could be a good situation for him because of that spot on the 40-man.
• Kind of a funny line from Girardi, asked if anything jumped out this early in camp: “A lot of good arms in camp. You look at some of the sizes of these guys. Those are some pretty intimidating figures on the mound. I need a step stool to go talk to them.” He didn’t name names, but I’m thinking Jason Hirsh, Andrew Brackman, Grant Duff, Jonathan Albaladejo and Romulo Sanchez.
• Finally met Kyle Higashioka and Jeremy Bleich today. They’ve been around, but I hadn’t said hello. For the record, their names are pronounce He-ga-she-oh-ka and Bly-sh.
• Pitchers who threw in the bullpen today:
First group: Chamberlain, Garcia, Hughes, Ramirez
Second group: Igawa, Melancon, Logan, Moseley
Third group: McAllister, Nova, Whelan
Fourth group: Bleich, De La Rosa, Mitchell, Noesi
• Like yesterday, I only wrote down the catchers for the first group: Posada caught Chamberlain, Rivera caught Garcia, Montero caught Hughes and Romine caught Ramirez.
• In the picture up top, Girardi and Dave Eiland are on the far left of the group of coaches watching pitchers get loose.
Catcher’s row • 02.17.10
On the left side of the Yankees spring training clubhouse, all the way at the back, the lockers line up like this: Jorge Posada in the corner, followed by Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Mike Rivera. Jesus Montero, Kyle Higashioka and P.J. Pilittere are at the ends of the middle rows, the other spots reserved for catchers.
The catching job still belongs to Posada, but he’s surrounded by the future.
“For me it’s easy because these kids, they want to be taught,” Posada said. “Montero comes up to me and says, what are we going to do today?”
Posada’s not ready to give up the job just yet, though. He wouldn’t speculate how many games he’ll spend behind plate, but he said he’s come to spring training, “prepared to catch.”
“I want to play,” Posada said. “I like playing, I enjoy playing. If I’m not hurting the team, I want to be out there.”