Mariano Rivera finally made his spring training debut Sunday and he was good.
“Silly,” was how Joe Girardi described Rivera striking out the side, needing 12 pitches to do so, in the sixth inning
“That’s what he does,” Derek Jeter said. “We’ll see him in another week.”
That was a joking reference to Rivera's spring schedule, something of his own making for a while now. Rivera typically pitches between 8-10 spring innings and will do the same this year, perhaps even less.
“Mo has a plan and a regiment and it has worked for him and he understands what works for him,” Girardi said.
An opposing team’s scout said Rivera' velocity was ahead of where it was last year at this time.
“First time out last year he was at 86-88,” the scout said. “Today he was 90-92.”
Said Rivera: “You get older, you get wiser. You just try to throw [as few] pitches as you can and make sure you work on your spots. That’s what I do. I don’t have that fastball that I used to have, that was 96, 95, but whatever I have, I have to make it work.”
*** Prior to the game, the Yankees optioned RHP Hector Noesi to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also assigned RHP Adam Warren, RHP David Phelps, RHP Brian Anderson, RHP Buddy Carlyle and LHP Andy Sisco to minor league camp. After the game the team reassigned INF Bradley Suttle, and OFs Daniel Brewer and Austin Krum minor league camp. RHP Daniel Turpen was returned to the Boston Red Sox per Rule 6. Major League camp now stands at 53 players – 24 pitchers, 12 infielders, nine outfielders and eight catchers.