It was a busy day for the players as they headed on the field to work out together for the first time this Spring. It was also a slightly somber day, knowing this was Derek Jeter‘s last “first” workout of his career. Here is some news that came out today as we close out Day 7 of Spring Training
“How the ball is coming out of his hand is the biggest thing for me,” Girardi said. “Does he look like he’s putting too much effort to let the ball go, or is it coming out easy? That’s what I’ve seen. It’s coming out easy. I don’t see him overthrowing. And the stuff being sharp, hitting his spots with some sink and some run to it. His slider looks good. His changeup looks good. His mechanics to me look much more polished than they were a couple of years ago. He’s had a lot of time to work on it and to think about it. He’s much more consistent in his delivery.”
— Girardi also said he doesn’t expect there to be restrictions when it comes to what Derek Jeter can do this Spring, but the Yankees are going to take caution as Jeter attempts to return from an ankle injury.
“I don’t know if he’ll play the first game or two, but beyond that we don’t really have a lot of restrictions on him right now,” Girardi said. “I think we want to make sure he gets enough days of baserunning in to make sure he’s ready to go.”
Girardi added Jeter looked great while fielding and there weren’t any concerns with his mobility.
— Alfonso Soriano wasn’t present during workouts today because he had the flu. There’s the first injury/health report of the 2014 season.
— Hiroki Kuroda admitted he was considering retirement at the end of last season, but Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera inspired him to play at least one more year in the big leagues. Kuroda, who turned 39 in February, felt age was the biggest factor, but seeing Pettitte pitch while he was 41 had an everlasting effect on him.
“It was encouraging for me to see a pitcher who’s older than me to go out there and pitch in a rotation for a whole season,” Kuroda said. “Now that he’s gone, I’m really surprised. His presence was really big for me.”
Kuroda and Pettitte struck up a friendship when Pettitte returned for his second go in the major leagues and the two had been close. Kuroda says he’ll miss Pettitte now that Pettitte has retired (again).
— A total of 1,338 fans showed up to George M. Steinbrenner Field today. I’m not sure if that includes the helicopter that was circling around the field, trying to take pictures of Jeter.