Friday, February 22, 2013

Yankees Get Set for First Game Tomorrow; Posada Returns

Tomorrow brings the first of 35 Spring Training games on the New York Yankees' schedule. David Phelps has been announced as the starting pitcher with Francisco Cervelli getting the nod for catching duties. Phelps is expected to pitch the first two innings of the game, while Cervelli may only be behind the plate for half the game. 

Also slated to pitch are Brett Marshall, Nik Turley, Mike O'Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder and Chase Whitley, according to manager Joe Girardi. 

No longer catching, Posada brings experience to Tampa.
- Jorge Posada arrived in Tampa as a guest instructor and immediately dismissed any rumors of possibly pulling an Andy Pettitte and returning to the Majors after taking a year off. Girardi did not rule out the possibility, but Posada went on to say he does not know if he could play the game today. 

- In other news for members of the Core Four, Derek Jeter noted that each day he is pushing himself for a quicker return by doing a bit more. He no longer tapes his ankle up before fielding drills. Meanwhile Mariano Rivera also looked solid in his 25-pitch batting practice session. It was the first time he pitched batting practice since he went down with a torn ACL last May. Girardi saw everything as "normal."

Injury Notes: Phil Hughes says that his back is feeling much better after being checked out by a doctor. He will be working out in the pool on Sunday and there is no date for his return to the mound just yet. The injury is not severe. 

- Switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte has been cleared to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, but only lefty after recovering from right shoulder surgery. 

And now to leave you with a thought. If you thought Barack Obama aged in four years as president, here's what the last five years have done to Girardi as manager. Gotta love photo day!


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