While Chan Ho Park said he's "ready" to go, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman said the Yankees will treat the pitcher as if this is "Day 1" of spring training.
“I consider him about 10 or 12 day behind the other guys,” Girardi said.
Cashman said Park is a pitcher the Yankees have been interested in the last three years and when his price dropped to where it did, he felt they had to pounce.
There was also this: why not make a deep bullpen deeper?
“I thought there was some real value there and so we tried to put ourselves in position to take advantage of it,” Cashman said. “Does it mean it’s going to work out? No, but it gives us clearly a deeper pen in a lot of different ways. If we have any injuries, if I have to make a trade in season, I’m going to have to use our pitching to get it, so now we have more pitching. Now we’re deeper because the strength of this organization right now if you looked at it is mostly on the pitching side in terms of depth.”
The Yankees haven’t had any pitching injuries but Cashman said he's been around too long to think that will last.
“Hopefully we can stay healthy but it’s unrealistic to expect health…so a lot of times this stuff works itself out,” Cashman said. “I just feel before we start games, I think we have a better foundation going into the games of spring training this year than we did last year. I think we’re deeper, a little more flexible, so there’s a lot of different ways we can go.”
Alex Rodriguez gave his endorsement of the Park signing. Park appeared against the Yankees in the World Series, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
“I faced him in the World Series and his ball had great movement, his velocity was in the mid 90’s,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He looked good. I thought he was a great weapon for Philly, hopefully he can be the same for us.”
*** CC Sabathia, who threw his first live BP session of the spring, said he won’t be watching Roy Halladay closely on Thursday when the Yankees play the Phillies in each pitcher’s spring training debut.
“I’m in the dugout eating seeds and goofing off,” Sabathia said with a laugh. “He’s a great pitcher. But it’s spring training. If I face him doing the regular season I’d probably be more concerned because I’ll probably have to hit.”
The Yankees do play the Phillies in interleague play this season but it’s a three-game series June 15-17 at Yankee Stadium.
*** Girardi said the only thing he's told the players about Tuesday's team bonding activity (they did a pool tournament last year as you remember) is "just be in street clothes by 10 o’clock," in the morning.