TAMPA, Fla. — New Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro entered spring training with a full plate.
When the Yankees traded for him in the offseason, the 25-year-old’s experience at second base was the less than two months he spent at the position in 2015 after the Cubs switched him from shortstop. But because the Yankees don’t have a capable backup for Chase Headley at third base at the moment, Castro will see some time there in spring training, as will second-base prospect Rob Refsnyder.
And though Castro remains the everyday second baseman, a status that won’t be affected by whatever happens at third, Alex Rodriguez, who made the transition to third base from shortstop when he was traded to the Yankees in 2004, said he’s happy to offer advice. Joe Girardi said he plans to ask A-Rod to do that with Castro at some point.
“I would tell him [Castro] what we tell all our young players,” A-Rod said. “We want them to be incredibly fit, in great condition. We want them to work hard and be routine-oriented. We want our young players to be maniacal and really, really serious about fundamentals. He does those three things, he won’t have any issues.”
Girardi is confident Castro can handle it. “It is a lot because he’s still learning second base, but it’s something we feel he’s capable of doing,” he said. “We just have to get him comfortable.”
Pineda’s strong start
Michael Pineda has been in Tampa for almost a month and has been impressive, including Friday, when he threw his first live batting-practice session.
“Everything that I’ve seen from Michael so far in camp, I thought he came in extremely well-prepared to get off to a good start,” Girardi said. “His stuff looked good today.”
Rodriguez was among the hitters who faced the 6-7, 260-pound Pineda.
“For late February, he looked extremely sharp,” A-Rod said. “One of the remarkable things about a guy who’s that large is he has such fine control of the strike zone.”