Notes as the Yankees’ pitchers and catchers work out
There was plenty to talk about today at Yankees camp, as A.J. Burnett held court about his challenge to bounce back from a terrible 2010 season and Jorge Posada went into some detail about what life is going to be like as a full-time designated hitter (and maybe an emergency, third-string catcher).
- Mariano Rivera and Hector Noesi were no-shows on Day 1. Rivera was granted a pass to show up late because his children are sick with flu-like symptoms, but Brian Cashman said Rivera could be in camp on Wednesday. Even if not, Rivera marches to his own beat during the spring anyway, so this doesn’t really affect much. Noesi is being stalled by a visa issue.
- Posada served as an unofficial assistant catching instructor of sorts. The Yankees don’t want him going through the drills just yet, although he will catch some bullpens in camp. For now, he was just along to help out as kids like Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine got their work in.
- It’s possible Posada might catch a game at some point this spring, but Girardi said he’d prefer Posada get most of his at-bats as a DH. Posada wants to talk to Edgar Martinez and Jim Thome about DHing at some point to get a few tips.
- CC Sabathia threw his first bullpen of the spring, to likely Opening Day catcher Russell Martin. On the subject of Martin, Brian Cashman said that Dodgers coach Larry Bowa called him recently to say, “You’re going to love this guy. He really gets after it.”
- Burnett got one new tattoo over the winter – it’s across his right forearm, reading ”Fortius Quo Fidelius.” It matches one that Burnett’s wife has across her stomach, and Burnett said he believes it means “Strength Through Loyalty” in Latin. Of course, he said, it could mean “I Love Tacos” and he’d never really know. (It doesn’t.)
- Larry Rothschild worked with Joba Chamberlain today and also spoke with him on the phone this winter. Rothschild wants Chamberlain to focus on getting the ball downhill so it does not flatten on the way to the plate. He believes that will help make Chamberlain’s slider sharper. Also notable – Chamberlain spent some time talking to David Wells today.
- Phil Hughes’ plans for the evening? Lightning vs. Flyers.
- Brian Schlitter, we hardly knew you. The right-hander threw a bullpen session today in Yankees camp and will be with the Phillies in Clearwater tomorrow, claimed off waivers by Philadelphia. He was designated for assignment yesterday to make room for Andruw Jones on New York’s 40-man roster. The Yankees originally got Schlitter as a waiver claim from the Cubs.