Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mariano Is Ready For His Close Up

One of the rites of spring, along with seeing the first robin, is when Mariano Rivera toes the rubber in a Spring Training game. That day has come as Rivera will face the Philadelphia Phillies today in Tampa. The game will be televised on YES at 1 pm. Rivera will likely pitch in the middle innings like he starts out every year.

Watch it and appreciate it, because it may be a "last first".

Relieved Reliever:

It looks like David Robertson can somewhat breathe a sigh of relief. D-Rob injured his foot in a fall while trying to be ecologically responsible (throwing out recycling). The Yankees had cause for concern from an MRI, but the righty is done with his crutches and hopes to shed the walking boot soon after being diagnosed with a bone bruise. The Yankees will take it slowly with him.

Rotate on this:

CC Sabathia will also face the Phils while Phil Hughes takes the bus ride to Ft. Myers for a game with the Twins. Hughes needs to have a good outing after looking a little shaky his first time out. The one plus from that first game, which came in relief of Sabathia, was that his fastball was 92-93 mph. A good start today would go a long way towards helping his confidence.

Hughes would also like to have a good day after Freddy Garcia, his competition for the five spot in the rotation, threw three scoreless innings against the Braves on Friday.

Ivan Nova is looking to show that last season's 16 game output was no fluke, but the right-hander struggled on Thursday. Location, location, location is the key to pitch and so far Nova's hasn't been there.

I can hear the complaints already, but anyone who does complain is being ridiculous. I am, of course, talking about Michael Pineda's spring thus far. The Jesus Montero lovers, who already have him in the Hall of Fame, must bash Pineda in return. But the kid tends tonot have his fastball up to snuff early in spring training and has admitted to taking it slow. And that's just fine with the Yankees. This kid is the real deal. That is my mantra and I'll stand by it.

Hiroki Kuroda, a lock for the #2 spot in the rotoation, looked pretty good his first time out and should be no worries.


Good interview by the Star-Ledger's Jeff Bradley with Eric Chavez, particularly about the movie Moneyball. Chavez was on that 2002 A's team and didn't give the movie a full thumbs up. Check it out here.

Eduardo Nunez isn't ready to hit yet after being hit with a pitch on the hand and is still in pain. He's planning on getting it re-checked on Sunday.

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