Day 9: Bailey signing ‘welcome,’ Pineda throws BP

Adam Berry here in Tampa, filling in for Bryan Hoch. For more updates from Yankees camp, check out Yankees.com or follow me on Twitter @adamdberry.

In case you missed it last night, the Yankees have agreed to sign former A’s and Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey to a Minor League deal. Bailey isn’t expected to be ready until midseason or so after undergoing shoulder surgery, but if he can stay healthy and pitch like he did for Oakland from 2009-11, he could provide another useful late-inning option for the Yankees.

“It would mean a lot; he’s a great arm. He has a lot of experience, had some good years with Oakland and some good years with Boston until he got injured,” David Robertson said. “He has a lot of experience, so any help in the bullpen is welcome.”

Robertson said he wasn’t threatened by the Yankees signing another reliever with experience closing out games. He also noted how relief roles tend to change and evolve over the course of the season, so it’s hard to tell what Bailey’s job will be by the time he’s healthy enough to pitch in the Majors.

“I look at it as helping the bullpen as a whole. Technically, I haven’t been given the closer job, so I’m just a reliever,” Robertson said. “Whatever is going to make our team stronger and help us get back to the playoffs, that works for me. I’m not going to be mad or annoyed or anything about it right now.”

Elsewhere at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning, right-hander Michael Pineda threw his first live batting practice session of the spring. Pineda threw to catcher John Ryan Murphy and said he’s feeling “great” and that he’s just trying to get ready to pitch in games.

Murphy said Pineda had “really good” command this morning but added, “I don’t think he’s where he thinks he should be yet, but overall he was pretty good.” Murphy also said Pineda’s been focusing a lot more on his changeup, a third pitch to complement his fastball and breaking ball, and it looked pretty good today as well.

It seemed like Pineda was working a little faster than usual, at least compared to when I saw him rehabbing down here in Tampa, and he may have been a little jumpy. Murphy said pitching coach Larry Rothschild mentioned the same thing and guessed it’s just because Pineda was excited or anxious for his first live BP session.

Still, Murphy said, even now you can see Pineda’s front-line ability every time he throws a pitch.

“He’s got the electric stuff. He’s got a chance to be a high-end guy,” Murphy said. “You can see his potential every pitch.”

8 Comments

Can’t you just get YES with the sports package or is that just directv?

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Great news on Pineda. With him healthy and with his stuff,he could be at the top of the rotation instead of a 5th starter. I can’t wait for the season to start. I have to sign up for Comcast Extra Innings in a month, as I always do. It’s expensive ,but I get to watch the Yankees as well as approx. 90 games a week.

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Pineda is going to have to earn his spot in the rotation. He was somewhat average last season and was shut down before the end of the season because of injuries. His lack of a third pitch and the fact that he didn’t throw many innings last season will work against him unless he outperforms others and has strong ST that will turn heads, otherwise he most likely will start the season in the minors to stretch out his arm and work on that third pitch. Most likely Warren will be the #5 in the rotation, could see Pineda sometime in the second half of season. The Montero deal is a bad deal that continues to dog the Yanks with two injury prone pitchers.

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I think Pineda is given every opportunity to win the 5th spot and Phelps started more than Warren in the bigs.

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Your right Ron, it is a very serious injury. Marte and Feliciano barely pitched for us. So stay tuned.

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How refreshing it might be to read about someone joining the club without injury issues. Signing Bailey might be a good thing in the end but all of the injury questions that come up are scary to say the least.

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Just another bad signing by that moron Crashman, just more proof that this organization has a terrible minor league system that doesn’t have a top pitching prospect that is close to being major league ready. This team already went down this route with the like of Aardsma a couple of seasons ago and got nothing out of him. This might be the same situation here with Bailey since he has barely pitched the last two season due to injuries.

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Its a minor league contract settle down. If he doesn’t come up, he doesn’t get the big money. Worth the risk.

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