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Chase Headley expects to iron out fielding issues

Chase Headley is focusing on his footwork around

Chase Headley is focusing on his footwork around third base in Spring Training. Credit: Jim McIsaac

TAMPA, Fla. — A relatively sure-handed fielder coming into last season, Chase Headley committed a career-worst 23 errors.

But while saying he’s not “panicked” about those fielding troubles continuing, he knows he has to prove it.

“I never say anything’s a fluke and I don’t think it’s the norm,” Headley said. “But on the same token, I don’t take it for granted. We’ve looked at some film and for me I think it all starts at the base with good footwork and I’ll try to focus on that in spring training. I’m not panicked about it but it’s certainly an area I was disappointed with last year.”

Joe Girardi said he didn’t feel Headley, signed to a four-year, $52-million deal before last season, caught a case of the “yips,” a term usually reserved for golfers who suddenly lose their ability to keep their hands steady on the greens.

“No, because I saw him make a lot of good throws,” Girardi said. “As I said, I think it starts with your bottom half where you identify throwing issues, and we’ll work real hard this spring.”

Sorting it out

Girardi said the staff would meet to discuss options at third base should Headley become unavailable. Among the possibilities in camp: second-base prospect Rob Refsnyder, who initially came up as an outfielder; new second baseman Starlin Castro, switched from short to second last season with the Cubs; former Cardinals utility man Pete Kozma, and former Marlins utility man Donovan Solano.

“That has to be hashed out,” Girardi said. “I think you have to look at everything, just because if something were to happen to Headley for two weeks or a month, you have to have a plan.”

No circus atmosphere for A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez reported Wednesday, took his physical and will address the media formerly Thursday. The Q & A is not likely to come close to approaching the intensity and scope of last year when he reported to camp coming off a season-long suspension and public sniping with the Yankees.

“He’s probably a little bit more relaxed, knowing that he doesn’t have to go through a gantlet of questions on the first day,” Girardi said. “I thought he came in looking really relaxed. Looked good, too.”

Feeling the heat

Mark Teixeira faced new Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in last July’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati, striking out on five pitches, the final one a swing-and-miss 103-mph fastball.

“It sounds silly but there’s a huge difference between 98 and [103],” Teixeira said. “When a guy can get it up over 100 miles an hour, you’re just not used to it . . . when you throw over 100 miles an hour, you just dominate hitters, so I’m glad he’s on our team, I’ll tell you that.”

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