The Yankees lost a tough one yesterday as their bullpen blew a close lead given to them by Phil Hughes who held the Orioles to just one run despite not having his best stuff. It’s a tough way to watch a team lose, but that’s baseball.
Here are some news items:
- Nick Johnson didn’t start yesterday even though he was expected to, but he did pinch hit. Johnson said that his back is not feeling 100 percent, but that it doesn’t affect his swing so he is available to play.
- Chan Ho Park, out with a strained hamstring, threw off flat ground the other day and reported that he still felt tightness in the hamstring. The Yankees had initially expected Park to come off the DL soon after the 15 days he needed to spend on the DL was up. However, like I’ve said in previous posts about Park, hamstring injuries, particularly with pitchers who need leg strength to pitch, tend to linger. Delays here are not abnormal.
- Dellin Betances, who had major ligament replacement surgery last year, similar but not Tommy John, is back on the mound pitching in extended spring training yesterday. He was reportedly throwing in the 92-95 MPH range. This is very good news for the once highly touted prospect.
- The Yankees also made an international free agent signing this week. They signed RHP Erik Olivo to a $300K contract. The 19-year-old has control issues, but has a live fastball in the 94-90 MPH range.
Betances had his surgery late in the season last year so the fact that he is already on a mound is huge news. Once he’s ready he’ll probably start the season in Single-A Tampa, but would be a decent candidate to move up to Double-A Trenton this season. If everything goes well he’ll be on track to make it to the Bronx by 2012.