Day 10: Tanaka’s sim game, MLBPA meeting and more
There wasn’t much activity to be seen Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, but it was still a busy day for the Yankees. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka threw simulated games on a back field starting at 8:30 a.m., the players held their meeting with representatives from the Major League Baseball Players Association and manager Joe Girardi looked forward to Tuesday’s unofficial Spring Training opener.
Look for much more coming on Yankees.com later today, but here’s a quick rundown on Day 10 at GMS Field.
TANAKA IMPRESSES: Tanaka once again drew a huge crowd when he got on the mound to pitch his simulated game, and he left everyone — from Girardi and catcher Francisco Cervelli to hitters Dean Anna, Scott Sizemore and Zelous Wheeler — singing his praises. Girardi was particularly impressed with Tanaka’s slider on Monday, while Cervelli spoke about the number of offerings Tanaka brings to the table. Tanaka, meanwhile, said he’s “pretty much ready to throw in a game.”
MLBPA MEETING: Representatives from the MLBPA held their annual meeting with the Yankees in the home clubhouse Monday morning, and executive director Tony Clark spoke with the media for about 20 minutes afterward. Alex Rodriguez was a popular topic of conversation during the media scrum, as you can imagine, but Clark said A-Rod is once again a member in good standing with the Players Association now that he’s dropped his lawsuit. “The page has been turned,” Clark said. “… He will serve the penalty that he’s been given by the arbitrator. He will come back in Spring Training ready to go, wherever that happens to be. He’s under contract to the Yankees. I would expect him to be in camp with the Yankees. Am I concerned about anything beyond that? No.”
BAILEY ARRIVES: Reliever Andrew Bailey showed up in the Yankees clubhouse Monday morning. He said he’s throwing from 120 feet and is seven months into a 12-month rehab process following shoulder surgery. As for signing with the Yankees, Bailey said, “I think it’s a good opportunity for me, and obviously if I get back to being myself, helping this team win another championship is what it’s about.”
GARDNER DEAL OFFICIAL: Brett Gardner and general manager Brian Cashman spent plenty of time discussing Gardner’s four-year, $52 million extension on Sunday, but the Yankees officially announced the deal Monday afternoon. Like Cashman, Girardi said he was excited to lock up the dynamic outfielder. “I like what he brings to the table, offensively, defensively and just his clubhouse presence,” Girardi said. “I like it. The way he plays the game, he’s a grinder.”
FSU PREVIEW: The Yankees took a bus Monday morning to their yearly team-bonding experience, a pool tournament. Before that, though, Girardi looked forward to Tuesday’s game against the Florida State Seminoles. Vidal Nuno will start, as Girardi said Sunday, but he couldn’t say off the top of his head who will pitch after that. As for the position players, expect to see Gardner, Cervelli and Kelly Johnson.
Girardi’s also looking forward to seeing one opposing player Tuesday afternoon: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback/outfielder/reliever Jameis Winston. “Obviously he’s extremely athletic. When you watch him play the game of football, he’s got a great arm,” Girardi said. “He’s pretty mature for his age, as an athlete and what he had to go through and handle, and I’m excited to see him.”
That’s it for now, but stay tuned to Yankees.com today for more on each of those items. Bryan Hoch will be back in the driver’s seat tomorrow for all your Yankees news and updates.