Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
Iconic closer Mariano Rivera has informed Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that he intends to pitch next season, thus answering one of the biggest questions of the club’s offseason.
“He called me yesterday and told me that he’d like to play in 2013,” Cashman said. “Now [agent] Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen.”
Rivera, who turns 43 next month, suffered a season-ending injury on May 3 in Kansas City, tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament. Rivera underwent surgery in June and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
Baseball’s all-time saves leader with 608, plus a record 42 more in the postseason, Rivera is currently a free agent after his two-year, $30 million contract expired.
It is likely that the Yankees will offer less than $15 million for the 2013 season, considering Rivera’s age and the fact that he is coming off an injury.
But Cashman said that the Yankees trust Rivera can return to the closer’s role, which he has filled in the Bronx since inheriting it from John Wetteland for the 1997 season.
“I believe in his ability to fill that job that he’s always done,” Cashman said. “He’s never failed and I know that knee is going to be good, so we look forward to returning him to the closer’s role.”
Rivera made just nine appearances this year, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA. In 2011, Rivera was 1-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 64 appearances, converting 44 saves, and had saved at least 25 games in 15 consecutive seasons (1997-2011).
After Rivera’s injury, the Yankees’ closer job was held down by Rafael Soriano, who helped the club get to the postseason by converting 42 of 46 save opportunities. At the direction of agent Scott Boras, Soriano opted out of his contract last week, taking a $1.5 million buyout instead of a guaranteed $14 million salary for next season.
The Yankees issued Soriano a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer on Friday, along with identical offers for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Nick Swisher. Soriano and Swisher are expected to decline in favor of seeking multi-year deals on the open market; those three players have until Friday to accept or decline the offers.
“We have a qualifying offer on Soriano, so it’s still possible we’ll have him,” Cashman said. “From our perspective, we’re still in play.”
On Michael Pineda:
Host/Jeff Joyce: “What is his status and is he a guy you are expecting or hopeful that will be healthy for you this season?”
Larry Rothschild: “With elbows it is a lot more predictable and you can expect. With shoulders, really, I think you take him off the radar screen, bring him back as the injury allows. But I don’t think we can count on him for next year at all. And hopefully he comes back and it’s a great addition but if you count on him and think he’s going to be back by a certain point you have a pretty high percentage of being disappointed with that. So I think you’re better off just approaching it that he’s not going to be back next year. And if things go right – and he certainly could come back and be able to pitch, I wouldn’t doubt that at all – but for us to count on him, I think, would be a mistake.”
On Mariano Rivera:
Rothschild: “At the very end of the season I didn’t even think about it. I thought for sure he’s coming back because of the rehab he’s done and everything he’s done leading up right until the very end of the season. Really, when I got home I heard that now there’s talk that he may not come back and may retire. But I don’t know. I would bet anything that he’s coming back. But I have not talked to him. I’ve kind of left him on his own because I think it’s a decision he has to make. I will probably talk to him in the next week or 10 days or so. But there are no parameters. Cash will handle that part of it as far as when he’s going to come back, when the decision is made if he’s not, and we’ll go from there.”
On CC Sabathia:
Joyce: “Has there been talk about lightening the load a little bit during the regular season based on the load that he’s taken on over the last five, six, seven years?”
Rothschild: “Yeah, Joe and I talked about it even going back to last year. This year we talked about it even more. Not only lightening the load but the pitch total during the game because he’s a guy that almost thrives on working the pitch totals and when he doesn’t have them it has an effect leading into the next start. Unlike a lot of guys where if they get a little more rest they’re more effective, he works more and throws more pitches he seems to get on rolls a lot quicker. And what happened, I think, part of this year is he didn’t do it. We didn’t let him get to that point. And then with the groin at one point and the elbow at the other we just never got to that point until towards the end and then he got on another roll when he did throw the pitches. So it’s kind of a Catch-22 with him. We do have to watch it and we’re going to probably have to watch a few guys on this staff. We’re aware of it and back off. When he had a chance to pitch with extra rest we did that. In the past he would pitch on the fifth day almost all the time.”
On Hiroki Kuroda:
Host/Jim Duquette: “Do you think there’s a high percentage chance he comes back to you guys?”
Rothschild: “I think there’s a high percentage chance that if he plays in the States he plays with the Yankees. I think he enjoyed the experience. I think his decision, to some degree, is going to be: Is this the year for him to go back to Japan? He feels like he has a debt to the team in Japan that he played for, that he would like to pitch, I think, another year for them before he retires. Whenever that comes about I think when he thinks he’s ready to do that that’s what he’s going to do. And if he’s not then I think we have a good chance to re-sign him and he’ll play for us or, you know, possibly the Dodgers. I don’t know. But I know he enjoyed New York and I think if he’s going to play in the States we’re going to have a pretty good shot at bringing him back.”
On Andy Pettitte:
Duquette: “Do you think he wants to come back to the Yanks?”
Rothschild: “Yeah, I do. But I think it’s a decision that when you get home, at the end of the year I would have told you, ‘Yes, absolutely.’ And now I think he still will but, you know, you just don’t know at this time of year. I think it is his decision again and he’ll sit down with the family and I think the family is pretty much on board with it so, yeah, I think the fires are still there. It was a freak thing, getting hit with the ball and the fracture of the bone this year. Can he hold up for 36 starts? I’m more comfortable thinking a little bit less than that. … I think effectively, if we’re smart about it, he’s going to be more effective with a few less starts than trying to push it through to 32 or 35, whatever it might be, and keep him fresher as long as we can.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel this morning, where hosts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin asked about reports that closer Mariano Rivera may be able to play this season.
Cashman again splashed cold water on the idea, going a little bit further to call out Dr. Keith Pyne for unprofessional behavior. Pyne is the rehab doctor who is working with Rivera; he spoke to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman earlier this month, sparking what Cashman says is false hope of Rivera’s return in 2012.
Host/Jim Duquette: “Mo, is there a chance he could come back? We saw some reports that he might be able to come back.”
Brian Cashman: “No. I mean, his physical therapist that he’s working with, I thought was unprofessional and went public with things. I mean, medical personnel should be quiet. And it’s not our physical therapist, it’s someone he’s got that we’ve signed off on. But those guys should not be doing interviews and he provided an interview that was, you know, not a fair reflection of where this player’s at. His over-enthusiasm, I thought, provided improper information. He’s not coming back this year and I wish he was, I wish he was, but unfortunately people get excited. They want to get their name out there for whatever reason and so he got a day in the sun, but he’ll be proven wrong in the end unfortunately. So, he got all our fans excited and a lot more media attention for myself to deal with, but he’s not coming back this year. I wish he was.”
Rivera has said that his goal is to return in 2012 but he doesn’t want to commit to it for fear of creating disappointment. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has pointed out that it would be difficult for Rivera to prepare to pitch in postseason games since there is little Minor League action in September. After his right ACL injury, the all-time saves leader vowed to pitch in 2013.
Rivera spoke optimistically about a September return in an interview on Monday with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, addressing a published report that suggested his torn right ACL might not be a season-ending injury after all.
“That’s my goal,” Rivera said. “Definitely, that’s my goal. I’m not thinking about it because if it doesn’t happen, I will be disappointed. So I’m taking it day by day. I’m working hard and doing what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to put something in my mind.
“I want to make sure that I do my things first. That’s what I’m doing, that’s the way I’m thinking. Day by day, positive, optimism. Whatever the Lord will allow to happen, that will happen.”
The New York Post reported last week that while Rivera’s working theory is that he is out for the season, his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule. The Post quoted Dr. Keith Pyne, who is overseeing Rivera’s rehab, as saying that “if I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo.”
Rivera was injured on May 3 in Kansas City while shagging batting practice fly balls. He did not undergo surgery until June 12 because of a blood clot in his right leg, but doctors have been impressed by how quickly he is recovering.
“I’m working. I’m feeling good,” Rivera said. “That’s all I can tell you. I feel good and the therapy is great. Everything is good. You have to continue working hard and wait to get on the field.”
The 42-year-old Rivera was 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and five saves this year. He has 608 career saves and said he has been tossing baseballs with his children, but will not guarantee that he’ll be pitching to any big league hitters this season.
“I don’t know,” Rivera said. “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I want to. I want to be there now. Only God knows.”
Rivera, 42, said that the procedure was scheduled after he learned that the blood clot discovered in his right calf after the May 3 injury was no longer an issue.
“I’ll do what I have to do,” Rivera said. “It’s something I have to work at.”
Dr. David Altchek, the Mets’ medical director, will perform Rivera’s procedure at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Rivera has been working out since his injury, strengthening the knee to prepare it for surgery.
“Actually, I’ve been so busy with therapy that I don’t even think about it,” Rivera said. “When I come home, I’m tired, and then watching the games — it’s a full day.”
Rivera vowed one day after the injury that he would return to a big league mound next season. Though he said that he does not want to consider any timetables for a complete recovery, Rivera confirmed that his intent to pitch again has not wavered.
“There’s no doubt about that, God willing,” Rivera said. “I always believe in miracles, a lot of good things. We’ve got to get it fixed first.”
Rivera stamped out speculation about pitching again in 2012, saying, “I can’t. I don’t want to think about it. I guess miracles happen, but I just have to be able to do what I will do.”
In Rivera’s absence, the Yankees briefly promoted David Robertson to the closer’s role before also losing him to injury. Rafael Soriano is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities and appears to have secured the job, even as Robertson is expected to return from the disabled list in about a week.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was hospitalized overnight this week with what was diagnosed as a blood clot in his right calf.
Rivera has been given blood thinners to treat the calf and says that it will not affect his recovery from his season-ending right knee injury.
“I’m OK,” said Rivera, who admitted that he was scared by the diagnosis. “I’ve never heard anything good about blood clots.”
Rivera said that no date has been set for his surgery so he can strengthen the knee. He also said that he had been leaning toward playing in 2013 even before the injury in Kansas City.
“The traveling, I hate it,” he said. “And the playing, I love it.”
NEW YORK – The Yankees will not elaborate on a complication found Monday after examination of Mariano Rivera’s right knee, but general manager Brian Cashman said that it is not anything that would impact the closer’s ability to pitch in the 2013 season.
“I have no comment on that, but you can certainly ask Mo about that [Wednesday] when he arrives [at Yankee Stadium],” Cashman said, adding, “It doesn’t affect next year at all. It doesn’t affect anything about next year.”
Rivera, 42, tore the anterior cruciate ligament as well as the meniscus in his right knee last Thursday at Kauffman Stadium while attempting to field a line drive in batting practice.
He was seen by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad as well as Dr. Russell Warren and Dr. David Altchek on Monday, all of whom concurred with the diagnosis of the torn ACL and meniscus given on Thursday in Kansas City.
Rivera is expected to have season-ending surgery when the swelling on his knee dissipates, which could take two to three weeks. Cashman described Rivera as being “in good spirits,” but said that he is ruling out any return to the mound in 2012.
“All the reports I got, it’s all about next year,” Cashman said. “What he’s got is correctable. At a date yet to be scheduled, they’ll have surgery and fix it, he’ll go through the rehab process and we’ll have the player next year.”
Count Chipper Jones, who knows a thing or two about blown ACLs, among those who think that Mariano Rivera could beat the anticipated timetable of recovery from his injury. Generally speaking, it could take a pitcher five or six months to come back from the type of injury Rivera suffered on Thursday.
“There’s a lot of rehab involved,” said Jones, who tore his ACL in 1994 and again in 2010, at 38 years old. “But with his work ethic, I think we all know he’ll be ahead of schedule. If there is any possibility of coming back by the end of the season, I think Mo could probably do it.
“I felt cheated the last two months of the season because I was playing good baseball at the time. It gave me confidence that I could still play. I’m sure he feels the same way, like he got cheated out of the last five months of the season. Nobody wants their last image to be of getting carted or carried off the field and have that be it. I know where he is coming from.”
Thanks to Mark Bowman for passing along the quote from Chipper.
Good stuff from Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who shared his recollections of Mariano Rivera’s younger days roaming the outfield — something he obviously never lost his joy for doing:
“He was our best center fielder. We used to play a game in Extended Spring Training, on Sunday camp day, we’d let the pitchers play a game off the coaches. … I remember telling our farm director, if we figure out that this guy can’t pitch, he can play center field. He and Bernie (Williams) used to go back and forth about who was the best center fielder. It was part of his conditioning, part of why he’s been so good, his routine. I actually think if he hadn’t down it that way for so many years, who knows what would have happened?”
Thanks to Brittany Ghiroli for passing along the quote.
His head bowed and his eyes welling with tears, Mariano Rivera stood in the center of the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium tonight and said that he does not know if he will pitch in the Major Leagues again.
“At this point, I don’t know,” Rivera said, repeating softly, “At this point, I don’t know. I have to face this first.”
Rivera has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, suffered while chasing a batting practice fly ball near the center field wall this evening in Kansas City.
The torn ACL was diagnosed by the Royals’ team physicians after an MRI at an area hospital tonight. He will be evaluated by the Yankees’ team physicians in New York, but the club is not expecting a miracle — his season is almost certainly over.
Rivera acknowledged that his stellar, Hall of Fame caliber career may have also ended tonight on the warning track in Kansas City, playfully lunging for a line drive as he has done countless times before.
“If I had to do it over again, I would do it over again,” Rivera said. “No hesitation. There’s reasons why it happens. You have to take it the way it is and fight through it. Now we just have to fight.”
Here is video of Rivera’s postgame press conference: Click here.
And here is reaction from his teammates: