The first full week of Spring Training – full as in the whole team was in camp – is nearly over and what have we learned?
Well, for one thing, we learned that the Yankees are open to switching the defensive alignment of the outfield by placing Curtis Granderson in left field and allowing Brett Gardner to patrol center field. This is all in the beginning stages and it may not even come to fruition but the fact that the Yankees are open to this idea makes me happy. I believe the stronger outfield would have Gardner in center.
Another thing we learned is that Ichiro Suzuki is pretty funny. From him showing up on the first day of training camp in a glittery Yankee cap – at least according to the beat writers who couldn’t take pictures in the clubhouse so there actually isn’t any proof that this hat exists. I guess we’ll have to take their word for it – to his quote in which he subtly made fun of the New York sports media for focusing on Derek Jeter’s weight which, surprise surprise, turned into a non issue to him tipping his cap or, in this case, helmet after he blasted a batting practice home run off fellow countryman Hiroki Kuroda. I like Ichiro. He can stay.
Next up, we have Mariano Rivera who seems to be healthy and ready to pitch in 2013. He threw his first live batting practice and said he felt good. He said that he was more worried about how his knee would respond to fielding practice than he was about pitching. You and me both, Mo. Let’s hope everything stays copacetic.
Jorge Posada returned to Tampa as a guest instructor this week. He already shot down the comeback idea. According to Posada there will be no repeat of what happened with Andy Pettitte last season although some Yankee fans wouldn’t mind it considering the team doesn’t actually have a starting catcher as of this moment.
Phil Hughes hurt his back earlier in the week and was diagnosed with a bulging disc. The Yankees conservatively estimated he’d be out two weeks. Hughes started getting ready for the season two weeks earlier than usual so these next weeks off, according to him, will put him right on schedule. Or something. Frankly, I’m concerned because this is the third season in a row that Hughes has had a back issue. His 2012 ended when he left Game Three of the American League Championship Series with a back problem.
What else happened in Tampa?
- Joba Chamberlain grew this thing on his face.
- New Yankee Kevin Youkilis arrived and hugged it out with Joba.
- Alex Rodriguez issued a statement about his rehab and the New York Daily News which seems to be obsessed with Alex, reported that he ate at the same seafood restaurant three nights in a row this week. He ordered oysters. No word on if this is all a part of his rehab.