Joe Girardi called Dave Eiland early in the offseason with a concern -- how, in the spring, to handle a pitching staff that had such a heavy workload last season, especially in the postseason.
One solution to lessen their load was to not have CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte -- as well as newcomer Javier Vazquez -- throw their customary bullpen sessions on Day 1 of spring training. They won’t throw one Friday.
“We want to ease all these guys into it to make sure they’re absolutely physically prepared to go out and have that same kind of workload,” Girardi said.
Sabathia, who will start the spring training opener March 2 against Pittsburgh and the season opener in Boston April 4, won’t throw his first bullpen until Saturday. The other starters will fall in line behind him.
“CC’s going to start the first game in spring training, so why are the other guys throwing extra bullpens in a sense because they’re not going to start the first game?” Girardi said. “We thought we could cut it back a little bit.”
To be clear, no one's arm is feeling sore or fatigued because of last year. It's all preventative medicine.
“I talked to Dave about it [the heavy postseason load] and that’s why we’re trying to take some measures to make sure they’re where we want them to be physically all year long,” Girardi said. “So that is something of a concern or we probably wouldn’t have changed it.”
*** Girardi said he hoped Jorge Posada could catch anywhere from 100-120 games this season.
“But that’s a lot,” Girardi said. “We’ll see how he is physically.”
Girardi said Posada wouldn't DH too many times on the days he’s not the starting catcher.
“That’s not something you want to do too much because when you give him a day off, you kind of want to give him a day off,” Girardi said.
*** Position players appearing in the clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field were Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.
*** Trainer Gene Monahan, as was reported over the weekend, is missing his first spring training in 47 years.
"It’s tough. We miss Geno," Girardi said. "I was telling Geno I look forward to hearing his speech in there [the clubhouse] every year. It’s priceless. When you’ve been here 47 years in a row and you’re such a fixture and a great trainer like he is, you miss him. He’ll be back though."
*** Girardi will give his official team address next week when the position players report but he did have a message today when he met with pitchers and catchers.
"What I talked about was look, we’ve got two weeks before we start games," he said. "We’re going to start slow. It’s fastball, changeup. We’re not going to throw breaking balls. If you feel anything in your shoulder, your elbow, your big toe, your oblique; whatever it might be, make sure you tell us. Because I’d rather you miss one or two days than one or two weeks or months. We’re not going to think you’re soft. We don’t want everyone to be robots here. The biggest thing was don’t rush."