Sunday, February 16, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sunday was the second day of official workouts this spring. Mark Teixeira took most of the headlines while speaking to the media, while also getting in some swings on the field. But that wasn't the only thing worth talking about.

Teixeira sets high expectations for himself: First baseman Mark Teixeira, who is coming off of wrist surgery last season, arrived at Yankees camp Sunday, and spoke to the media about his expectations, who is wrist is doing, and what his recovery plans are in spring training.

"I feel good. I'm excited about being here." he said. "No setbacks the entire offseason, the summer into the offseason, which is good. My surgeon was very happy and Steve is happy. So I'm happy."

Teixeira said that his injured wrist didn't really have much effect on his offseason workouts.

I actually got to lift more, which was good. I feel like I've put on a couple of pounds of muscle, which is nice for me. My offseason started July 1st, and with the rehab and extra time, concentrating on my body and not worrying about resting, I got plenty of rest which was good. The first month or two of the offseason is just resting from a long season. I didn't have that this year so I was able to work a little bit more."

He's coming into the season with some high expectations placed on himself, saying that he's hoping to play at least 150 games, and be the 30 homerun, 100 RBI game in the middle of the Yankees' lineup like like they expected him to be when he was signed in 2009.

"I absolutely plan on playing 150-plus games this year. That's my goal. Every now and then I'll have a day off, of course. That's just natural. You get beat up a little bit during the season, but I expect to have a healthy, productive season." he said.

He later added, "There's not one guy that has to carry this team, but absolutely I expect to hit in the middle of the order, hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. That's going to take pressure off everybody and help us win games."

As for his plans this spring, Teixeira said that he is "going to get my 50-plus at-bats in Spring Training. I'm going to get as many swings as I need. It'll be a little slow the first couple of weeks just to make sure I'm easing into things."

He said that he started swinging a bat in January, taking about 20 swings from each side, and building up 5-to-10 each week. Right now, he is 45-to-50 from each side of the plate, and will continue to add on as the spring progresses.

Relievers take their turn: After the startings threw bullpens on Saturday, the Yankees had two groups of relievers throw bullpens on Sunday, including should-be closer David Robertson, who was joined by Shawn Kelley, Matt Dailey and Matt Thornton.

Cesar Cabral, Brian Gordon, Chris Leroux and Mark Montgomery were part of the second group to throw.

Putting on a show: Catching prospect Peter O'Brien was mashing balls during batting practice today. Even though the Yankees have enough catchers to last them the next decade, the 6-foot-3, 215 pound O'Brien will be someone to watch down the road, or possibly in the trade market.

Manny throws a bullpen: Manny Banuelos threw his first bullpen session of the spring, coming off of Tommy John Surgery. Yankees manager Joe Girardi also confirmed recent reports that Banuelos could make the team out of spring training as the second lefty in the bullpen.

However, it's more likely that he'll start the year in Triple-A -- as I wrote in Sunday's Warming up, the Yankees would be very wise to start Banuelos in the minors as a starter, rather than putting him in the big leagues to start the year.

Up next: Pitchers and catchers are back at it again on Monday, expecting to be on the field around 10:30am EST at spring training complex.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter (below).


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