Once again, Sergio Mitre threw the ball extremely well, allowing two runs and three hits in six innings tonight in the Yankees 5-3 split squad victory over the Blue Jays.
“Better velocity, more consistent, has come up with a slider that’s helped him,” Joe Girardi said after the game. “Just more consistent.”
*** Derek Jeter had two hits, including a triple, and Alex Rodridruez added two hits in the victory. Mariano Rivera made his fifth appearance of the spring in the eighth inning and retired the Blue Jays in order. Rivera has not allowed a run in the spring, giving up two hits, one walk and striking out six in five innings.
*** The Yankees sent down outfielders David Winfree and Jon Weber after the game. Weber was a particularly good story of the spring, a 32-year-old trying to break into the big leagues. He thought it might happen out of camp last season with Tampa but it wasn’t to be. He thought he might at least get a September call-up after hitting .302 at Triple-A Durham but that never happened, either.
“It was the best time of my life in my career I’ve ever had,” Weber said. “I made it to the final week with the New York Yankees. Stay positive, stay focused and hopefully one day I’ll get the call.”
Weber brought a .560 average into last night’s game and after going 0-for-4, he was still at .483 for the spring. Unfortunately for Weber, a lefthander, the Yankees came into camp looking for an extra righty bat, a job expected to go to Marcus Thames.
“I just came here every day and tried to do my job,” Weber said. “Things didn’t work out. That’s baseball. What are you going to do? You can’t control stuff that’s out of your hands.”
Weber said he didn’t try to handicap his chances when he set foot in camp.
“I don’t try to set myself up for failure,” he said. “I came to the world champions; I’m 5-foot-8; I’m a little guy; I’m 32 years old and I’ve never been in the big leagues. So, yeah, of course the odds are against me. But I didn’t try to set myself up thinking I was going to make the team. I just came in here with an open mind. Tried to be a good teammate, tried to be a good clubhouse guy and just try to be myself and I think I did a good job.”
Girardi had nothing but praise for Weber.
“He’s definitely opened eyes for sure,” Girardi said. “The young man can hit and the attitude is tremendous. He’s a fighter.”
“As we told him and we told Winnie, you gotta be prepared and go get your at bats and be prepared if something happens.”