Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’

Mariano Rivera says his knee feels “95 percent”

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.”

Mariano Rivera pitching in for Yankees Food Drive on Wednesday

Mariano RiveraWant to meet Mariano Rivera? You’ll have your chance tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. Here’s the info from the Yankees:

The New York Yankees will continue another great tradition this holiday season with the 19th annual Yankees Holiday Food Drive, presented by White Rose Foods. On Wednesday, December 12, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Gate 2 at Yankee Stadium (corner of 164th Street and Jerome Ave.), any fan bringing at least 30 pounds of non-perishable food will receive a voucher good for two (2) complimentary Grandstand or Bleachers tickets or two (2) half-price tickets in select general seating areas* to one of 19 designated games during the 2013 regular season.**

RHP Mariano Rivera will be on hand to assist in collecting food items from 11:30 a.m. – noon.

The Yankees, in conjunction with Bronx clergy, will distribute the food throughout the Bronx to those in need. To help kick off the Yankees Food Drive, White Rose Foods will donate approximately 90,000 lbs of food.

Fans driving to the Stadium may pull up to Gate 2 to drop off their donation. Rice and bottled water will not be accepted.

More Mo! Rivera tells Yanks he wants to pitch in 2013

NEW YORK – You will be hearing “Enter Sandman” over Yankee Stadium’s speakers once again in 2013.

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.”

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild talks Mo, Pineda, CC, Kuroda, Pettitte

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild appeared on the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM on Friday, joining hosts Jim Duquette and Jeff Joyce. Here are some highlights:

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.”

Cashman: Mariano isn’t coming back this year

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.

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