Yankees Camp Notes: Joe Girardi pleased with his pitchers' progress

03/17/2013 11:01 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Joe Girardi said he was pleased with David Phelps' progress this spring. (AP)
After watching two games on Saturday and seeing his team shut out across the board, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was a bit more subdued and casual than usual when briefing the media on Sunday morning.

Regarding last night’s game in Lake Buena Vista, where the Yankees dropped a 4-0 decision to the Braves, Girardi said he was pleased on the whole with starter David Phelps, who had just one rough patch that led to the loss.

“Phelpsy threw pretty well except for the fifth, when he got two outs and gave up three runs; he got up in the zone a bit and got into some long counts,” Girardi said. “But I thought it was progress and he continues to build up.”

With that, Girardi added that as his rotation gets to this point in the spring, the increased pitch counts the hurlers are given are helpful but he still doesn’t take full stock in the results.

“As they continue to build up, you want to see them be able to increase their pitches, not just in numbers but in type,” Girardi said. “You get to throw more curveballs, more sliders, things like that. You get to actually work on something.”

One pitcher who is anxious to work on anything in game mode is Boone Logan, who said again on Sunday that his arm feels good. Girardi was optimistic that “Boonie” could be back soon, but was much less committal on his other bullpen southpaw.

“I think there’s time for Logan, I think he can get in a couple games here, but we’re going to have to wait and see on the Rapper,” Girardi said.

Rapada has been playing catch after being shut down completely for more than a week with bursitis in his shoulder, but there is no timetable for his return; if he is unable to go on Opening Day, the Yankees could carry a different lefty specialist on the roster, but Girardi didn’t feel he would necessarily need to limit his options to the southpaw side.

“I don’t think so,” he said when asked if the bullpen definitely needed a second lefty in the short term. “You look at Joba, Mo, and Robertson, they’re all used to getting lefties out.”

Logan, who said Saturday his elbow didn’t hurt but still felt a little imflamed, is set to throw a simulated game on Tuesday, and Girardi again said he’ll see how the lefty feels in the days following before determining the next step.

“I have to talk to him and find out what that means,” Girardi said of Logan’s comments.

Other notes from Yankees camp on a sunny St. Patrick’s Day:

-Outfielder Matt Diaz has been released, eliminating one option from the pool looking to make the team as a righty outfielder. Diaz hit .200 this spring while in camp on a Minor League deal, making his final appearance as the DH in last night’s game in Lake Buena Vista. GM Brian Cashman said earlier this winter that Diaz on a Minor League deal but was either going to make the team of be released, and with Ben Francisco and now Brennan Boesch both on board, the Yankees chose to do the latter now.

-Mark Teixeira returned to Yankees camp today, arriving just after the team bus left for Bradenton, and will remain with the team for the rest of the month. Teixeira said that his injury is to the tendon sheath and not the ECU tendon itself, and that he expects to wear a brace on his right wrist for about a month before beginning any rehab. He also still hasn’t been cleared to begin one-handed baseball activities.

-Derek Jeter was listed on the travel roster for Tuesday’s game, which is a road game in Clearwater against the Phillies. Girardi said that Jeter will likely play in back-to-back games this week, then joked that “I don’t really see him making that Fort Myers trip.” The Yankees have a night game against the Twins in Tampa Thursday, then finish a home-and-home with them down in Fort Myers Friday afternoon.

-CC Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain both threw sides today, and Joba said “all was good.” Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte will throw bullpens and Phil Hughes will throw a simulated game during the Yankees’ off day Monday, and both Ivan Nova and Matt Tracy, who were on the road trip to Bradenton Sunday, will throw bullpens Tuesday while Logan throws a simulated game.

-In a humorous exchange with the beat writers, Girardi revealed that he was one of many caught in bad traffic around Steinbrenner Field Saturday thanks to the Kenny Chesney concert across the street at Raymond James Stadium. “I was coming back (from Lake Buena Vista) and we couldn’t get in here at all,” he laughed.

-In one other light moment, Girardi was asked if everyone else was healthy, and he said, “So far…but the day is young.”

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