Clear 28° Good Afternoon
Clear 28° Good Afternoon

Montero hits a BP blast

Jesus Montero is hard to impress. Especially when it comes to one of the batting practice bombs he hits with semi regularity. Today he almost cleared the scoreboard in left-center by smashing a pitch thrown by Butch Wynegar off the top of the “M” in the “George M. Steinbrenner Field” that adorns the scoreboard. 

Asked if it was one of the longer homers he could remember hitting, the 6-4, 225-pound Montero smiled.

“No,” he said.

Montero said didn’t like the way he was swinging a couple days ago.

“I tried to have a good practice today, I tried to hit the ball a little harder today,” Montero said. “A couple days ago I tried to get my swing better and today, a little bit. It’s not there yet but it’s going to be there.”

Girardi stressed the organization still sees Montero, rated as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball, as a catcher.

“We consider him a catcher and we want him to continue to improve and to play a lot of games back there,” Girardi said. “I see the subtle changes from year to year and he looks more comfortable.”

Montero did say he’s capable of being impressed.

“Last year there was one home run where I was like, ‘Wow, unbelievable, I can’t believe I did that,’” he said laughing.

*** Position players are scheduled to report Tuesday and Girardi said everyone should be there on time. Girardi is looking forward to an increased clubhouse volume level.

“I always think camp livens up and it gets louder in there [when position players arrive],” Girardi said without mentioning Nick Swisher. “I like it. I like the noise level to go up.”

The first full squad workout is Wednesday and players will take batting practice for the first time this spring Thursday.

*** Andy Pettitte is scheduled to throw his first bullpen of the spring Tuesday. Like the other starters’ first sessions, he’ll throw around 30 pitches and be relegated to fastballs and changeups.

*** Like Brian Cashman, Girardi was mostly mum on the signing of Chan Ho Park (neither will comment extensively until the pitcher passes his physical). Still, Girardi said a little bit...

"He’s pitched very well out of the bullpen, pitched very well out of the bullpen for the Phillies," Girardi said. "He’s one of those guys that gives you…you really wouldn’t consider him a one-inning guy, he could give you multiple innings. That guy last year for us was Ace, whose now competing for that fifth spot."

And who definitely wants to start. 

"My choice?" Aceves said, asked his preference between starting and relieving. "Starter. Because you do more in the game. You spend more time in the game, you pitch more innings, which I enjoy." 

The Yankees certainly have a logjam now with guys who can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen with Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Aceves. Aceves has options and could be sent to Triple-A to start and be on the ready should the need arise for an emergency starter. 
"The one thing that we’ll do here is make sure we take what we feel are the best 12 arms and put them in their spots," Girardi said. "As you saw [last year], we don’t leave spring training and say this is the way it’s going to be the whole year. Having quality arms in camp and more quality arms in spots, is a luxury. It’s just our job to try and make the right decisions."

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