Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’
We have a new leader in the clubhouse for ‘Most Creative Mariano Rivera Farewell Gift.’ In a pre-game ceremony tonight, the Minnesota Twins gave Rivera a rocking chair made out of broken bats. According to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, several of the bats were broken by Rivera himself over the years, including one of the Kirby Puckett models.
The Twins also made a $10,000 donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation. The chair was Gardenhire’s idea, according to the Twins. (Photo credit: @Twins)
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.”