Sunday, February 23, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. -- Michael Pineda threw his first live batting practice session Sunday morning, throwing to live hitters for the first time this year. And though it wasn't great, it also wasn't terrible.

“The ball was coming out really good,” catcher John Ryan Murphy said. “Sometimes he tends to cut them a little bit, but that’s usually his first few warm-ups. After he starts getting through a little better, the fastball comes out really good.

"His command was really good today. I don't think he’s where he thinks he should be yet, but overall he was pretty good. … (His command) was better in the bullpen. He was just a little jumpy out there on the mound I think because he was excited and anxious about his first day out there.”

Murphy said that Pineda was throwing much better in the bullpen during warmups, but I can tell you from experience that throwing to just your catcher in the bullpen is much different than having an actual hitter in the box.

"Today was just my first time," Pineda said. "I need to be ready for the games, not batting practice."

** Yankees manager Joe Girardi announce the starting rotation for the first four spring training games: Vidal Nuno will take the mound against FSU on Tuesday; Ivan Nova gets the ball against the Pirates on Wednesday; David Phelps will take the mound Thursday, also against the Pirates; and Adam Warren will start against the Tigers on Friday.

Nuno said that he expects to throw two innings, and I would bet that you can expect the same from the other four starters.

** After coming to terms with right-hander Andrew Bailey Saturday night, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he doesn't expect Bailey to be in the big leagues until late in the season, possibly August or September.

Before he said that, the hope was that he would be ready to pitch by the middle of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery late last season, but considering that he hasn't even began throwing yet, there is still a long way to go in his rehab process.

** While everyone was focusing on Brett Gardner and the four-year contract extension that he signed with the Yankees, it was revealed that Derek Jeter will make his spring debut on Thursday against the Pirates. That game can be seen on YES.

** Speaking of Gardner's extension, Cashman said that he hasn't had any talks with David Robertson's agent about an extension. Robertson is eligible to become a free-agent after the season.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank.


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