Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
Vernon Wells has enjoyed some success in his career against Orioles starter Freddy Garcia, going 7-for-16 (.438) with a homer and three RBIs, but manager Joe Girardi said he was willing to table those numbers because he believes Wells could use back-to-back days off after last night’s rainout.
“It just allows me to get Vernon a couple days off,” Girardi said. “I’m going to have to do some rotating a little bit with these guys. Anytime you can get an older guy two days off in a sense, it’s helpful. He played every day in that last long stretch that we had. He’s played a lot over the last 30 days. I figured it might just help him.”
Girardi has no concerns about CC Sabathia being ready tonight after being pushed back a day by rain.
“If you get two or three extra days, you worry a little bit,” he said. “He’s had extra days before. Hopefully it makes him a little bit stronger. These guys have been going at it pretty hard and we’re going to have another long stretch after this. It’s not such a bad thing.”
Speaking of time off, Girardi wonders if sitting out for most of 2012 might have made Mariano Rivera more effective.
“The big difference is he’s had a lot of save opportunities,” Girardi said. “He’s on pace to be in 70 games which is not totally unusual for a reliever. You can say, and I’m a big believer, an arm only has so many bullets in it. Sometimes a year off is not the worst thing in the world.”
Injury updates from Tampa: Mark Teixeira went 1-for-2 with a double and walk in a simulated game … Kevin Youkilis is taking batting practice and ground balls and could be activated when the Yankees return to New York … Alex Rodriguez is taking ground balls but is still being talked about as returning after the All-Star break … Eduardo Nunez is taking dry swings and ground balls … Ivan Nova threw 3 2/3 innings in a simulated game. … Derek Jeter is out of his walking boot but isn’t doing much else.
Here in Baltimore, Chris Stewart hit off a tee and felt OK, but Girardi doesn’t think he’s ready to get in a game yet. He’s just an emergency catcher tonight behind Austin Romine, who is making his third straight start.
Jorge Posada hasn’t yet arrived in camp for his duties as one of the Yankees’ guest instructors, but we must be getting close, because the five-time World Series champion is starting to talk a little ball.
Posada was a guest on Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio this morning with hosts Jim Memelo and Jeff Nelson. He shared his thoughts on several topics around the 2013 Yankees, including Posada’s prediction that Mariano Rivera will be able to return to the same dominant level for this team.
On Mariano Rivera: “Mariano is going to be 100 percent. Mariano is a freak of nature. One of those things about Mariano, he has great control, that cutter will not go away. I expect Mariano to be the old Mariano.”
On Derek Jeter: “He said it perfectly the other day, he’s going to be sore all over because he hasn’t been able to train like he wanted to, but he’s going to push himself to be ready for Opening Day. I know him, he’s going to probably be doing two-a-days and working really hard off the field to get back to 100 percent when it comes to Opening Day.”
On the Yankees’ catching competition: ”Obviously whoever has the best spring is going to start. That probably changes throughout the year. We’ve got three young catchers and we’re going to hopefully look forward to seeing them compete. This is what baseball is all about. You don’t get the job, you earn the job. I think it’s going to be good.”
On scouting reports for Cervelli and Romine: “Cervelli, very energetic, very athletic, very quick behind the plate. He has a good arm. He’s a lot more mature now so I think it’s perfect timing for him right now. Romine, obviously a little younger, smart kid behind the plate. We like him very much but they don’t want to rush him, so we’ll see. He’s got a shot too. We’ll see what happens in the spring.”
On Kevin Youkilis: “It’s going to be fun. I think it’s going to be great. The guy plays hard, that’s another guy that wants to prove himself. He had a tough year last year and I bet he worked really hard during the offseason to be a Yankee and be a part of this team.”
CC Sabathia admitted to experiencing some jitters as he entered the bullpen at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning, with the ace preparing to pitch off a mound for the first time since having surgery on his pitching elbow in October.
Mariano Rivera – in what should be a surprise to no one – felt no such nerves as he worked off the hill, firing about 30 pitches as the Yankees closer continues to hit every checkpoint in his return from last year’s knee injury.
“There’s no peace of mind where I say, ‘OK, I feel good now,’” Rivera said. “No. I knew the [work] that I put in during the whole year. It’s been a hard job. I always tell you guys that I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I’m capable to do this. I was expecting this. It feels good. Everything feels good.”
Sabathia joked that he “probably didn’t throw a strike” during his entire 29-pitch session, but a lack of command isn’t out of the ordinary for Sabathia at this point in the spring. He said that it usually takes two or three bullpens to hit spots correctly, but Sabathia came away most encouraged by how it felt to throw without discomfort.
“I got a little nervous when I first got up there, just because it’s the first time doing it,” Sabathia said. “I hadn’t been up there and didn’t know how I was going to feel. I immediately felt good and felt comfortable after the first couple of pitches.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi remains optimistic that both Rivera and Sabathia will be ready and active on the big league roster for Opening Day.
“I’m pretty confident they’re going to be OK, but I always say in the back of my head, I want to see them out there before I make that assumption,” Girardi said. “But I feel pretty good about it just because I know where they are in their rehabs.”
- Can’t make it up: If you had wandered into the Yankees’ clubhouse around 10:30 this morning, you would have seen a Joba Chamberlain cramming his 6-foot-2 frame into a tiny laundry cart and begging Boone Logan to push him around. Chamberlain isn’t a coffee drinker, but if he were, the appropriate advice might be to switch to decaf for a while.
- Here’s the full list of pitchers who threw live batting practice sessions this morning: David Phelps, Nik Turley, Nick Goody, Juan Cedeno, Jim Miller, Adam Warren and Brett Marshall. The list is particularly notable if you’re wondering who might be on the mound for the Yanks’ first few exhibition games, since they’re slightly ahead of the others right now.
- Breakdowns for bullpen work this morning included: Andy Pettitte, Rivera and Sabathia; Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda and David Robertson; David Aardsma, Dellin Betances and Clay Rapada; Tom Kahnle, Ryan Pope and new acquisition Shawn Kelley.
- Francisco Cervelli confirmed that he is not participating in the World Baseball Classic. Cervelli was listed on Italy’s provisional roster but decided to stay in Yankees camp with hopes of winning the starting catching job.
- Yankees position players are due to report in camp tomorrow, with player physicals beginning at 7 a.m. Roster hopeful Juan Rivera stopped by the clubhouse this morning.
Mariano Rivera knows exactly what he is going to be doing after this season. From the way he phrased his responses today, all indications point toward retirement, but the Yankees closer said he needs to tie up a few loose ends before he publicly announces his decision.
“Yes, I have [made a decision]. I won’t give it up until I’m ready for that,” Rivera said. “Yes, I have. I will tell you guys when it is the right moment.”
If this sounds familiar, it should, because Rivera relished parrying with the media all of last spring about the same topic. There’s one key difference this year, however: Rivera promised that he’ll reveal his decision by the end of Spring Training.
“Don’t worry, the time will come,” Rivera said. “You guys have been patient enough. Another day or week, it won’t hurt.”
Mariano Rivera has made it to Yankees camp in what represents a rare on-time arrival for the all-time saves leader, who typically is granted a few extra days before joining the rest of the pitchers and catchers.
Rivera won’t waste any time getting right to work as he returns from his season-ending ACL injury – he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen this morning in front of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, with Minor League catcher J.R. Murphy handling his tosses off the mound.
Other pitchers scheduled to throw bullpens this morning in Group 1 at Yankees camp include Phil Hughes (Francisco Cervelli), Hiroki Kuroda (Chris Stewart) and Andy Pettitte (Austin Romine).
Here’s Group 2: David Aardsma (Bobby Wilson), Tom Kahnle (Kyle Higashioka), Jim Miller (Gary Sanchez), Zach Nuding (Francisco Arcia), Clay Rapada (Murphy).
Group 3: Juan Cedeno (Stewart), Vidal Nuno (Cervelli), Ryan Pope (Romine), Matt Tracy (Sanchez).
George M. Steinbrenner Field is open for business, and while we’re still waiting to hear the first official crack of the bat, these words should be enough to warm your afternoon wherever you are — Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa today.
The players went through the usual gauntlet of physical tests and checked out their locker assignments – with 84 names on the invited list, the Yankees have had to build a few new ones in the clubhouse – before heading out for the day. The real work begins tomorrow, with the first official workout for pitchers and catchers.
“Everybody talked about the guys that we didn’t sign, but talk about the guys we have coming back,” Yankees ace CC Sabathia said. “Hiro (Hiroki Kuroda) coming back, Andy (Pettitte) coming back, we’ll get Mo (Mariano Rivera) back for a full year. I think we already had the pieces here in place to compete and try to win a championship. We’ll just go with what we’ve got.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi held his first press conference of the spring, and the big news was again about Alex Rodriguez, as Girardi revealed that A-Rod will not be reporting to camp with the Yankees’ position players.
Instead, Rodriguez will be continuing his rehab in New York, which should limit some of the potential distractions that were expected to go along with MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis case.
Girardi said that he believes the Yankees “could win 95 games and get to the World Series,” and said that “if other clubs want to think we’re vulnerable, that’s OK, but I love the character in that room and the way they find ways to win games.”
Want video? You got it.
Here are some of the other quick hits from Girardi’s session with the press:
- Girardi is not concerned about the health of Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. He is, however, curious how the Yankees will find their designated hitter against right-handed pitching. Eduardo Nunez, Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera appear to be the early options.
- Girardi called the spring “a test” for Francisco Cervelli, who must block out the distraction of the Biogenesis investigation while also competing for the Opening Day catcher job.
- Austin Romine should be able to help the Yankees at some point during the season, Girardi said, but he doesn’t know exactly when. Romine said that he intends to make the roster out of Spring Training, but the Yankees have him ticketed for Triple-A right now.
- Girardi said Cervelli, Stewart and Romine should be able to be as good as Russell Martin was defensively.
- Michael Pineda is throwing in camp, but Girardi said he doesn’t expect to see him in a game this spring. The Yankees have been saying that Pineda’s best case scenario is to pitch in the big leagues by May or June.
- Girardi said he’s not worried about his lame duck status as the Yankees’ manager, saying that he’s only concerned with the next 162 games and getting to the World Series. The Yankees will likely hold off until after the season to open contract talks with Girardi.
There were several light moments during last night’s charity event to benefit Yankees radio engineer and producer Carlos Silva, but one that sticks out concerns Mariano Rivera and his not-so-secret desire to play center field for an inning in a big league game.
A fan brought the topic up during the Q&A portion of the evening, and I was a little surprised to hear it — I assumed that’d been put to rest by last year’s injury in Kansas City. Yankees manager Joe Girardi answered the question fairly, pointing out that the only scenario where they’d even consider it would be a bad one for the Yankees — it’d have to be late in the season and already apparent that the team wasn’t going to the playoffs, since they wouldn’t risk losing their closer (again) with any chance of a World Series on the line.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman had a better response, laughing and saying that Rivera killed those plans for himself by crumpling on the warning track at Kauffman Stadium last May.
“My answer is, you saw what he did. He can’t play center field,” Cashman said, laughing. “The guy is an old man! He blew his knee out!”
That doesn’t mean Rivera has completely given up on the idea; brought on stage seconds later, he announced that we all haven’t heard the last of him in center field.
It should go without saying by now, but this Rivera guy doesn’t give up easily. Here’s how Girardi and Cashman handled the question:
More newsy notes from last night:
- Cashman said that the Yankees invited Hideki Matsui to Spring Training as a celebrity guest instructor, but Matsui declined because his wife is expecting a child. By the way, Jorge Posada – fresh off his appearance at Women’s Fantasy Camp – has hinted that he’ll be attending.
- Girardi said that there is “no formula” for how the Yankees will handle their catching, but they’re holding firm that it’ll probably be from the group of Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. The Yankees don’t view Stewart as a starting catcher, but Girardi said that he could see Romine – who remains slated to begin the year at Triple-A – playing in New York for “a substantial amount of time” in the near future.
- Cashman likened Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams to former big league outfielder Otis Nixon with a little more power, which is a comparison I hadn’t heard before. He also said that Mark Montgomery has a real chance to land at the big league level this year, wielding a nasty slider that could have him help in a David Robertson-type role.
- Cashman on why the Yankees were so quiet on the free agent market: “This market, this winter, was bad.”
- Cashman on what he liked about adding Travis Hafner: “Big hairy monster. I keep saying that, but none of those guys have a lot of hair. He’s the profile we like; on-base percentage with power from the left side. He’s not someone that when he’s coming to the plate, a pitcher is going to be too comfortable facing, especially in our ballpark.”
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be appearing tonight in Manhattan for a charity event with Ed Randall, appropriately titled, “An Evening with Mariano Rivera.”
Here are some more details from Randall:
“The Yankees legend will join me for an exciting, unprecedented night of lively conversaton at The School of Visual Arts Theatre (333 W. 23rd Street, Manhattan) on January 22 from 7-9 p.m.
This special, intimate event – designed and priced right for baseball fans of all ages – will showcase a one-on-one discussion with the Yankees legend as he readies himself for a return to the mound following last season’s ACL injury.
We’ll talk frankly about his early life, his time in New York and what it’s like to be among the greatest athletes who have ever donned the pinstripes.”
The event will benefit Randall’s ‘Fans For The Cure,’ increasing awareness of prostate cancer treatment, prevention & detection. For more information, call (888) 220-4618 or click over to http://fans4thecure.org/.
No matter who you talk to, Mariano Rivera is generally regarded as one of the best athletes on the Yankees’ roster. In fact, long before that ugly May afternoon in Kansas City, you could ask his teammates and reach a consensus that if Rivera hadn’t wandered into pitching, he could have made a serious bid to go pro as an outfielder.
Rivera also loves soccer and, as a child growing up in Panama, dreamed of enjoying stardom in that sport. His reach, apparently, extends to college football too. Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters that he showed his players a video interview with Rivera to prepare them for tonight’s BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame:
“We just watched a video of Mariano Rivera, and he talked about he struggled at some time in his career because he was trying to be a perfectionist,” Saban said, according to the New York Post. “And that when he’s in the bullpen, he sees the crowd, he hears the crowd, he knows sometimes that he’s been getting a lot of positive self gratification for what he does and sometimes getting a lot of negative self gratification for what he does. But when he runs out and they hand him the ball, he’s got one focus; he’s not worried about the crowd, he’s not worried about any of the external factors. One focus: ‘Three outs; how am I going to get three outs?’”
Saban said that the point was to stress that his players would do well to adopt some of Rivera’s legendary focus.
“I think a team’s ability to do that, to stay focused on the things that are going to affect the outcome of the game, are critical in games like this. And you know, you could say, well, that’s nothing; well, believe me, being around young people, being in games like this, that’s something, and it’s something big.”
Mariano Rivera isn’t quite ready to get on a mound and dust off his famous cutter, but that day is quickly approaching. The all-time saves leader said that he expects to resume throwing in about a week, estimating that his surgically repaired right knee is now “95 percent” healed.
“It’s not 100 percent. It would be, I would say, 95 percent,” Rivera said. “By the time Spring Training starts, it’ll feel 100 percent … It needs more strengthening. The five percent will come quick.”
Rivera spoke on Saturday at the Frozen Ropes baseball academy in Danbury, Conn., where he worked with a group of about 150 children on the basics of his craft. Some of the children were from nearby Newtown, Conn., a community struggling to recover following last month’s shooting tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We didn’t try to get into it,” Rivera said. “We just tried to run it smooth and make sure they were comfortable. There were a few kids from there, and we want to make sure we made them feel comfortable and not try to treat them differently. I think that was for the best.”
Rivera said he expects a “normal” Spring Training, which for him likely means a slightly later arrival to Yankees camp in Tampa, Fla. Rivera generally only tosses a handful of innings in the Grapefruit League, so he expects no difficulty being ready for Opening Day on April 1 against the Red Sox.
“I’ll make sure when I get there, I’ll be ready,” Rivera said.
He added that he isn’t worried about the Yankees’ moves – or lack thereof – this winter, even though the Blue Jays in particular appear to have improved in an already tough American League East.
“We have to do our jobs. If we do that, we’ll be OK,” Rivera said. “I’m not worried about other teams and whatever they do. We just have to compete.”