Results tagged ‘ Jorge Posada ’

Working with Posada, A.J. feels all right

Remember August 22 of last season? Sure you do. That was the game that the relationship between A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada hit its low point, with Burnett stretching his arms out and yelling at himself, “Why? Why would you throw that pitch?”

It has been an enduring snapshot, and not just in the media and among the fan base. On Saturday, an afternoon when Burnett and Posada clicked at their best, Burnett revealed that the memories from Fenway Park had made the trip to Spring Training as something for the ‘what to work on’ file.

“I think that whole Boston thing kind of got the best of us,” Burnett said. “Even though
we talked about it and knew it wasn’t about him and wasn’t about me,
the whole thing blew up so much that … it keeps it in the back of your
mind. To be able to come here and work here and throw to him every
start, it’s fun and relaxed.”

Burnett and Posada needed to fix whatever wasn’t going right in their relationship because, frankly, they are going to be together a good amount. Jose Molina is gone, having signed with the Blue Jays, and Joe Girardi does not want to use Francisco Cervelli as a personal catcher for Burnett – or anyone.

So far, Burnett says the relationship is working. He didn’t have his curveball Saturday and needed to figure out a way to navigate the Tigers, relying instead on his fastball and offering props to Posada’s game-calling. In short, Burnett said that Saturday had been “easy upstairs,” meaning that the battery was largely on the same page over 6 2/3 innings of one-run, three-hit ball at Joker Marchant Stadium.

“I could be more efficient, but that’ll come under the lights, hopefully,” said Burnett, who walked three and struck out two in a 91-pitch outing. “Just to get that hook over is the main thing today, but besides that, I felt great. I was relaxed and confident.”

CC hit hard by Phils farmhands

While most of the news was coming out of Sarasota, there was this ugly tidbit of a pitching line filtering in from the Himes Avenue complex back in Tampa, where CC Sabathia pitched in a Triple-A game against the Phillies’ top farm club:

Sabathia: 3.2IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 2 HR – 88 pitches, 58 strikes

Joe Girardi didn’t have any details, but upon hearing the results, he said: “That’s not what we’re necessarily looking for.” Maybe it’s a good thing that Sabathia’s facing the Red Sox on Opening Night and not the Triple-A Lehigh Valley club.

Following the outing, Sabathia threw an additional 12 pitches in the bullpen. He was caught in the game and bullpen by Jorge Posada, who went 2-for-3 (two singles) off the Phillies’ Roy Halladay.

  • Once again, Alex Rodriguez found a side door at Ed Smith Stadium, walking past the autograph seekers and into a waiting luxury car to leave the Yankees. He was apparently headed for his reported meeting with federal investigators regarding his possible connection to a Canadian physician under investigation. A-Rod did not comment to reporters, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not know if Rodriguez would be available to play on either Friday or Saturday.
  • Back in Sarasota, Girardi thought that Sergio Mitre (2 IP, 1 ER) looked pretty good, but Alfredo Aceves (2 IP, 6 ER) was up in the zone and paid for it. Girardi said that he thought both pitchers were dealing with some emotions after learning they wouldn’t be the Yankees’ fifth starter. 
  • Earlier we mentioned that the Yankees might find it difficult to carry two situational lefties, and they consider Damaso Marte as one. Boone Logan’s changeup is an intriguing pitch for Girardi, and one they want to keep looking at. It’s a pitch that might elevate him past just the left-on-left battles.
  • One explanation for Marcus Thames’ struggles this spring, from Girardi – he’s going to primarily be on the roster to bat against left-handed pitching, and the Yankees haven’t seen much this spring. They’ll draw Jamie Moyer tomorrow, and you can bet Thames will be in there. Girardi wants to see him get going. 
  • Chan Ho Park (2 IP, 0 ER) was “exceptional,” the skipper said.

Field trip over, these Yankees win

Here are the winners and runners-up for this morning’s Yankees arcade events:

Indy car: A.J. Burnett wins; Dana Cavalea second place
Skeeball: Andrew Brackman wins; Eduardo Nunez second place
Pop-a-shot: Royce Ring wins; Mark Melancon second place

tex skeeball.jpgPhoto from the Yankees: Mark Teixeira tries his hand at Skee Ball, as Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Jesus Montero watch.

Here’s some of what Teixeira had to say to the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand, who is acting as the pool reporter for the day:

“It was fun. It was good to have a change of scenery from the pool tournament. It was new and fresh and we enjoyed it.”

“The highlights were A.J. Burnett just smoking the field in the video game racing, and Royce Ring being probably the best pop-a-shot basketball player I’ve ever seen. Those two were hands-down the best at those two events. Whenever the basket is moving, Royce takes the cake.”

“It was a great day. The fact that we get three or four hours not to have to worry about baseball and not have to compete on the baseball field, it was fun. Playing video games, we felt like kids again. It promotes a light-hearted atmosphere.”

“The great thing about this kind of atmosphere is that there’s no veterans or rookies, starters or role players, Triple-A or Single-A; everyone is on the same playing field. We’re all having fun, really kind of letting our hair down and getting to know each other without competing on the field.”

“The young guys probably get into it more than anybody. A big-league clubhouse – especially the Yankees’ clubhouse – can be very intimidating. To go off-site to an arcade and enjoy each other, get to know people not as superstars or as New York Yankees, but just as men, it can easily build friendships.”

EDIT 6:02 p.m.: Feinsand checks in with some quotes from Curtis Granderson…

“I thought it was a great idea to get a bunch of guys coming from different sides, whether it’s their first big-league camp, guys that were acquired through trade or free agency and guys that had been there. For everybody to get a chance to meet up and see everyone outside of the intense training baseball mode, we can see that everybody does laugh and have fun. We’re all big kids.”
“The highlight had to be watching Igawa race on the Indy Car. He kept racing up against the wall and damaging his tires. He wouldn’t move off of it. He had his left hand on the wheel and he was just cruising like nothing was wrong. He was doing that for a good three minutes. Everyone was shouting, ‘Turn left! Turn left!'”
“People forget how long the season is. We have the training part that we’re doing now, then we have 30 or so spring training games and we haven’t even started the season. Then it’s 162 games in the regular season and hopefully the playoffs, then the next thing you know, you’re right back at it in 2011. The actual time away from competition is minimal, so to get a chance to go out and have fun in that large a group, it was a great thing. I’m really glad they did it and I would recommend other teams doing it.”

“Andy Pettitte and I sat there and talked before our Indy Car race, and it had nothing to do with baseball. We split up, were playing different games, then battled again on the Pop-a-Shot. I don’t normally see the pitchers during the day, so to get a chance to do that was well worth it.”
“I struggled in my first round of Pop-a-Shot when it counted on the bracket. When we came back for a side competition, that’s when I dominated.”
“Skee ball was difficult. I used to be good at Skee ball, but I was really disappointed at myself for my performance. I’ll need to go back and figure out this Skee ball machine compared to the ones I used to play.”

mo.JPGAll photos courtesy of the Yankees.

CC, Chan Ho, and the day in camp

Some photos from the workout on Feb. 28, a day when CC Sabathia threw batting practice to the Yankees for the only time this spring and Chan Ho Park arrived in camp, speaking optimistically about wanting a World Series ring:


64 pitches later, a taste of the Joba-Phil battle to come

YANKEES 197.jpgJoba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes offered a group of eight Yankees batters a combined 64 pitches to look at on Friday, and while that wasn’t enough for either of them to gain a percentage point in this great little battle we’re calling a fifth-starter’s race, it certainly gave you something to watch about on a sunny but cool afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Both pitchers are working on the usual stuff like command, secondary pitches and strength at this point in the campaign, but the Grapefruit League is already upon us next week and it’s certainly not too early to begin looking at human beings in the box.

“It’s still just preparation,” Joe Girardi said. “We don’t want them to try to do too much right now. They’re just preparing for their starts.”

What was Jorge Posada looking at? Well, against Chamberlain he watched a nasty slider buzz his back ankle, and in catching Hughes he saw a pitcher who is developing his own mound presence. Either way, Posada liked what he saw.

“Obviously, right now it’s too early,” Posada said. “But you still want to see all that, how they handle themselves. … They have grown in a good way, both of them. Both of them, you saw it in ’07 with Joba and Phil last year, the way they have grown. You see a lot of good things. You see what the scouts were talking about, how they handle themselves.”

Posada said that Hughes stepped up in the second half last year and showed a lot of maturity in adjusting to being bounced to the bullpen, and offered raves for Chamberlain’s mental approach in tackling the last year of the Joba Rules.

“Joba had no idea what was going to happen with him,” Posada said. “It’s tough to deal with that, it really is. He has handled it real well, not knowing what’s going to happen with the Joba Rules. The pitching coach telling him, ‘You’ve got 20 pitches,’ before an inning starts.

“That’s tough to do, it really is. You can’t pitch like that – ask any of the veterans. He has handled it real well.”

  • Confirmed by Dave Eiland – CC Sabathia throws a bullpen tomorrow, with A.J. Burnett throwing Monday, Andy Pettitte Tuesday and Javier Vazquez on Wednesday. Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte throw their first sides on Monday. 
  • The Yankees will use the DH rule on March 4, March 12, March 17 and March 20.
  • Saw Hector Noesi shyly walk up to Derek Jeter and ask him to sign a baseball in the clubhouse. Noesi tucked it on the top shelf of his locker for safe-keeping.
  • Bombers bits: The Yankees plan to use both Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in left field and center field when Grapefruit League games begin on March 3, looking to evaluate comfort levels. They do not anticipate a scenario where Granderson would not be in center field when Gardner is not playing. … Girardi said that outfielder Jamie Hoffmann’s Rule 5 status will not affect his chances to make the team. “Maybe in some other camps, it might work one way or another, but here we’re going to take what we feel gives us the best team,” he said. …The Yankees will have a team outing on March 2, similar to last year’s billiards tournament.
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