Rivera throws first spring bullpen

Mariano Rivera was out beyond the right-field fence this morning before 9 a.m., stepping on the mound in the middle of a passing rain shower to throw his first bullpen of the spring.

Rivera said that he hadn’t thrown much over the winter — “Maybe four times,” he offered — but he took it as business as usual, throwing to Gustavo Molina, with bullpen coach Mike Harkey standing in as a batless hitter. Rivera has mastered the art of getting into midseason form with minimal effort.

“It’s pretty much, knowing your body and what you need to do,” Rivera said. “That’s definitely what I try to do.”

Nick Swisher spoke to a large group of reporters this morning in the clubhouse. Swisher said that he dropped a few pounds – down to 199, from 204 this time last year – but that he has completely re-made his physique. He said he worked out with a group of college and pro football players in Westlake, Calif. and also focused on flexibility, including yoga.

Swisher said he has, at age 31, finally found a program that he believes works for him. He said that he used to be a guy who would “play for the tie,” working out hard in the gym and then scarf cheeseburgers at McDonald’s. No more, Swisher promises.

“This is going to be a fun year for me,” Swisher said. “Last year was super stressful.”

The Yankees are about to get on the field for stretch on an overcast, windy morning here at Steinbrenner Field, with temperatures in the mid 50’s. There were no bullpens listed for today, but instead, the following eight pitchers threw live batting practice:

  • Adam Warren, Mike O’Connor, Brett Marshall, Chase Whitley, Ryan Pope, Juan Cedeno, Graham Stoneburner, Dan Burawa.

Here are today’s hitting groups, if you’re interested:

  • Group 1: Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez
  • Group 2: Eric Chavez, Ramiro Pena, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Doug Bernier
  • Group 3: Russell Branyan, Bill Hall, Jayson Nix, Jorge Vazquez, David Adams
  • Group 4: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
  • Group 5: Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Nick Swisher
  • Group 6: Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell, Cole Garner, DeWayne Wise
  • Group 7: Zoilo Almonte, Colin Curtis, Melky Mesa, Corban Joseph
  • Group 8: Kyle Higashioka, Russell Martin, J.R. Murphy, Gustavo Molina

Tomorrow is photo day at Yankees camp. There’s a reminder on the bulletin board telling players to wear their pinstripes and also to “please be clean shaven.”

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