It was a bit of a rain-shortened day at the ballpark for the Yankees who wrapped up practices earlier than typical due to weather. But would it be July baseball without a little rain in the Bronx?
Following today’s Summer Camp workout, right-handed pitcher, Adam Ottavino, right-handed pitcher, Chad Greene, catcher, Gary Sanchez, infielder/outfielder, Miguel Andujar, and Aaron Boone met with the media.
Adam Ottavino was the first to meet with the media this afternoon. He was asked about where he feels physically and he says he feels good. He stated that it’s hard to tell where he’s at exactly, but that he’s been throwing a lot. He threw one inning with a hitter this week, was throwing two to three innings before and has been trying to gradually increase his intensity. But Ottavino says his volume’s been good and he feels good.
Ottavino took advantage of the time away during the shutdown to stay healthy and he did so with fellow Yankees’ pitcher, Gerrit Cole. “It’s always nice when you have multiple guy son the same team under the same circumstances who want to say in shape and get better,” stated Ottavino,” who has a mound at his house, which quickly attracted Cole to want to train with Ottavino. During this time, Ottavino and Cole learned from each other and got to know each other better. “We talked a lot about his pitches, how he holds them, what his mentality is behind him, see what I can do to add to my game,” Stated Ottavino. “There’s always stuff you can improve on, especially when you’re learning from the best.”
Ottavino and Cole have both come into camp pretty much close to game-ready, as have the majority of the Yankees pitching staff and position players. The organization did a great job of keeping its players healthy through the quarantine and keeping them on program as best as possible.
Ottavino will be throwing tomorrow with one day’s rest tomorrow and then will work on going back to back to check off all the boxes ahead of July 23rd’s home opener. Even with no fans in the stadium, Ottavino says he’s been trying to increase his intensity and keep a high adrenaline that comes from game situations and the fight or flight game situations.
Ottavino has been working on being quicker to the plate and with his reaction times when he throws over to first for a pick off. When asked how that adjustment is progressing, he stated he has abandoned the whole “no-glove tap” for all circumstances, including with a man on first. He says he is more comfortable now than in spring, but would like to continue to get more reps with it in game situations, such as the live sim games the Yankees are playing. He said he is doing his best to be quicker without sacrificing his pitching quality.
With this season being a 60-game shortened season, Ottavino says there’s not much time to have a luxury of pacing themselves. Ottavino says that as long as he feels good and feels like he can pitch for quality and with effectiveness, that he will be available. For a shortened season with every game counts, Ottavino says the pitchers need to be honest about how they feel and not pitched with their body feeling compromised. But as long as he feels good, Ottavino says he wants the ball and takes pride in being a late-inning guy and getting that ball as much as possible.
It’s also a different year circumstance-wise for all of Major League Baseball with the on-field rules and rules inside the clubhouse. “It’s different,” stated Ottavino,” who mentioned that he still hasn’t seen everyone on the 60-man player pool yet because the guys are coming to the field and training in shifts. Ottavino said he looks forward to when real games start because they’ll be traveling as one unit. However, until then and through the differences the season will bring, “We’re in this together,” Ottavino stated. “It’s a team things and we want to try to maintain that team feeling as much as possible.”
Chad Green also spoke with the media Wednesday afternoon. He was first asked as well about the shutdown and what he did to stay ready, as most of the Yankees have been asked. Green stated that he went home to Louisville, KY and was able to stay on his training schedule since he has a home-gym at his house. Once facilities opened, he did say he took advantage of going into a couple facilities and that he was finding a place throw wherever he could. But he stated he was grateful to be lucky enough to have a home gym to stay strong and in shape.
When asked how much time he thinks he’d need to be game-ready for July 23rd, Green stated that it won’t take him much time as he has come in, like other players, ready to go. Green stated he got off the mound a couple times a week leading to this point and that getting back into a routine of being at the ballpark and getting used to the training schedule and shifts was the biggest thing. But as far as being game-ready goes, Green says he’s ready and that it won’t take much time.
Green will be throwing in Thursday night’s intrasquad game at Yankee Stadium, which will be broadcast LIVE on YES Network at 6:00PM.
Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez was the next player to enter the Interview “Zoom Room” as it is being called. Sanchez was another player who took advantage of his time away from the field to stay ready and continue to put in work. Sanchez was down in the Dominican Republic during the quarantine where he had coaches and trainers helping him to stay ready. Sanchez says he feels really really good coming into camp. He stated that he caught five innings today and is hopeful his next outing will be another five innings. From there he plans to continue to follow the plan.
Sanchez has been working on his receiving position and footwork with Tanner Swanson and says that even while he was home in the Dominican Republic, he continued to work on it and would send video to Swanson of his workouts and from there the two would banter back and forth on what Sanchez was doing well and what needed to be changed or improved upon. But coming back into camp, Sanchez says he feels ready and his body feels healthy and ready to go.
Miguel Andujar was the next player to meet with the media and he has been a player making a multitude of adjustments since Spring, adjusting to player not only third base, but first base and primarily, the corner outfields as well.
When asked how he’s been feeling in his positions, Andujar stated, “I feel much more comfortable now compared to Tampa. This time has allowed me more practice and more time to get comfortable.” Anduar has been balancing working at all three positions and has worked as primarily third base and the corner outfields the majority of the time, saying he’ll be prepared to play where his coaches have him. He stated, being flexible opens more doors and possibilities at this level.
Members of the media also asked Manager Aaron Boone about Andujar and positioning. Boone responded saying that he is excited about Andujar’s work at the corner outfield spots in the spring and in game action this week. “He’s done well at third as well,” stated Boone, who also mentioned that Andujar hasn’t done as much work at first, but that this camp he will get work in at all three positions, priorizing, however, the corner outfield spots, as well as third base.
Aaron Boone met the media at the conclusion of today’s practices. He first talked about some of the question mark players who were still going through the intake process or were dealing with minor ailments. He stated that Jonathan Loaisigais is through the intake process and was on the field today. Boone said he looks good and put a lot of work in at home in Nicaragua, including getting some game-action in while down there. He is slated to pitch a couple innings on Saturday.
Kyle Higoshioka, who had a sore neck yesterday, participated in camp today and will catch tomorrow.
Clint Frazier, dealing with planter fasciitis, was out doing fielding, base running and hitting today.
As for Masahiro Tanaka, who was hit by a line-drive off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton last weekend, has been doing some indoor cardio the past couple days and was outside getting some light work in today as well. He has responded well and had no concussion-like symptoms through getting back to light work. However, the Yankees are moving cautiously and slow with Tanaka, but are encouraged by what they’ve seen so far.
Boone was asked about Jordan Montgomery this afternoon and his rehab process. Boone saying, “he’s right in there with everyone else. He’s ramped up pretty good.” Montgomery is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Boone stated his stuff’s been good and he’s been throwing the ball really well this camp. “We’ve seen his quality stuff early here in Summer Camp,” stated Boone.
Gerrit Cole, who pitched in Tuesday night’s intrasquad game, felt really good coming off of his outing. Boone stated that today Cole felt how he’d hope to feel after last night.
Boone was asked as well about the atmosphere in the clubhouse. To close his press conference this afternoon, Boone stated that the atmosphere has been good. “There’s laughter and talking,” stated Boone. The guys have a good atmosphere going in the clubhouse despite the circumstances.
The Yankees, as stated earlier in the article, are slated to (weather permitting) play another intrasquad game Thursday Night at 6:00PM at Yankee Stadium.