Sunday, March 2, 2014

Michael Pineda will make his spring training debut Friday against the Detroit Tigers in Tampa. Masahiro Tanaka will make his second start of the spring the day before, on Thursday, against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida.

Also scheduled to make his spring debut this week, Mark Teixeira will play in his first game on either Thursday or Friday.

Pineda threw a simulated game Sunday morning at the Yankees' spring training complex and said afterwards that he felt his fastball command was good, and is ready to get into a real game against real hitters. Friday will be his first game against real major league hitters since his first spring in Yankees camp in 2012, when he first hurt his shoulder.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the other day that he's moving a little bit slower with Pineda this spring "just to make sure" that he's healthy as he continues to work his way back from shoulder surgery.

Pineda has been getting a lot of compliments so far this spring, from both coaches and players that have seen him throw in bullpens.

Girardi has said that his slider looks sharp and his changeup has improved pretty well. Even though he hasn't been throwing in front of a radar gun, they believe that he is throwing with some power.

Tanaka is coming off an impressive debut against the Phillies yesterday in Tampa. He struck out three in two scoreless innings, giving up a pair of single. We get to see the famous splitter that we've heard so much about, and it was as good as advertised, completely dropping off the table to Ben Revere, who Tanaka struck out with the pitch.

He was throwing all of his seven pitches, topping out at 94-mph.

“For the first day, I think people like it, and I like it too,” Francisco Cervelli said. “I think that’s most important. His command was good and we tried to locate, tried to know each other. He looks real good.”

CC Sabathia will also throw on Thursday, but it'll be in a simulated game back in Tampa. Sabathia also threw yesterday, tossing a pair of scoreless innings to start the game, and he was topping out at 88 mph on his fastball.

“My fastball is what it is,” Sabathia said. “If it gets better, it will. If it’s not, it won’t. I can pitch. I’m fine. As long as I’m healthy I’ll be good.”

Teixeira will be playing in a game for the first time since June of last season when he hurt his wrist and needed to undergo surgery. He's been working hard to get back into games, and will be a big key in the Yankees' lineup this season. They need him to be healthy.

Teixeira said a couple weeks ago that he expects to play in at least 150 game this season, and be the 30 homerun, 100 RBI hitter that the Yankees signed in 2009.

"I know when I'm out there and healthy, my team is a better team and that is no different this year," said Teixeira, who turns 34 in April.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog


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