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Joe Girardi impressed with Michael Pineda

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watch as pitcher Michael Pineda works out at Steinbrenner Field on the morning of Feb. 20, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. -- The rave reviews continue for Michael Pineda.

"He's healthy. Pineda looks good to me," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who along with pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched Thursday's bullpen session closely. "I've been pleased with what I've seen."

The righthander wasn't in the group of pitchers throwing live batting practice, but Girardi said Pineda is fine.

"It's coming out easy. I don't see him overthrowing," Girardi said. "I see his stuff being sharp. He's hitting his spots. His mechanics look much more polished than they were a couple of years ago."

Pineda, 25, is in a competition with Adam Warren, Vidal Nuño -- both of whom threw live BP Thursday -- and David Phelps for the fifth starter spot. It is an open competition, but the Yankees would prefer to see Pineda, once projected as a front-end-of-the-rotation option before his shoulder injury in 2012, grab the job with a strong spring training.

Tall order

Scott Sizemore, recovering from surgery on his left ACL and brought in on a minor-league contract to compete for an infield spot, is the Yankees' new No. 24.

"I saw 24 and was like, 'Oh, they gave me a good number,' " Sizemore said with a smile. "Then I started thinking, 'Wait, that's Cano's number.' That's some pretty serious shoes to fill, but I'm glad they at least gave me a really good number."

Sizemore, 29, has suffered two left ACL tears in the last two years. He played two games with the Athletics last season and before that had not appeared in a big-league game since 2011 for Oakland.

"Obviously, two times in a row, there was definitely some doubts that crept in if I was ever going to play again," Sizemore said. "But I just continued to work hard, trusted my rehab staff, and they got me back."

Extra bases

Among the guest instructors for the first full-squad workout were Willie Randolph and Hideki Matsui. Matsui, the MVP of the 2009 World Series, was invited last year as a guest instructor for the first time but could not make it . . . Alfonso Soriano missed the workout with the flu.


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