04/01/12 7:07 PM ET
Girardi: Down time should benefit Pineda
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
"When you look at the news, when a guy goes in for an MRI, that's probably the best case scenario a guy can have," Girardi said. "No structural damage; you deal with some inflammation, some tendinitis, and we'll get through that. So for that, I'm very happy."
Girardi said that Pineda, 23, is still considered a work in progress and that some time out of the limelight -- where he'd been for most of camp, acquired from the Mariners in a blockbuster January trade -- might actually be a plus.
"I think there's been a lot of focus on him in camp," Girardi said. "There's always somebody who gets that, and it was him this year. Maybe this little couple-of-week break might be really good for him, actually."
Pineda had been in competition for a role in the starting rotation, and Girardi declined to answer when he was asked if Pineda had done enough to lock up a spot before reporting soreness behind his right shoulder on Friday evening.
"There was a lot of concentration on his velocity, which could have led to this," Girardi said. "He was getting people out. [Friday] was really the only rough start that he had had to this point. We really believe he's going to be a staple in this rotation for a long time. We have a little setback here and we have to move forward."
CC ready for opener after final spring start
MIAMI -- CC Sabathia was feeling a little bit under the weather when he took the long walk to the mound at Marlins Park on Sunday, but he still was able to turn in a tune-up that he believes will prepare him for Opening Day.
Sabathia allowed three runs and four hits in a four-inning outing, taking a no-decision in the Yankees' 10-8 victory over the Marlins. He walked two and struck out three, throwing just 34 of 69 pitches for strikes.
"My arm felt great, my command was just a little off," Sabathia said. "I couldn't get in any good counts for myself. I was able to get out of some jams and make some pitches."
Sabathia said that there is no reason to believe his fastball command won't reappear on April 6, when the Yankees open the regular season against the Rays at Tropicana Field. He said he threw good changeups and a decent cutter Sunday.
"Usually I'm not that bad. Today, I was bad," Sabathia said. "I'll work hard in my [bullpen session] to make sure I'm getting my fastball where it needs to go."
The start will be Sabathia's fourth consecutive Opening Day effort for the Yankees, and he said it never gets old.
"It's an honor to be able to start the season for the franchise and the organization," Sabathia said. "I'll be ready to go."
Swisher gets back into swing of things vs. Marlins
MIAMI -- Nick Swisher got to hit in a game with a batter's eye on Sunday, and after spending so much time at the Yankees' Minor League complex last week, that was a welcome change.
Swisher went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a home run in the Yankees' 10-8 victory over the Marlins on Sunday, and he said that while his tight groin still doesn't feel 100 percent, he's pretty close.
"If I keep doing what I'm doing here in the next couple of days, getting that confidence of knowing you're able to pick up and keep doing what you're doing, that's the biggest thing," Swisher said.
Swisher said that he feels 100 percent at the plate, but that he is still being cautious making angled turns running the bases or executing quick breaks in the outfield.
"The next couple of days I'll keep getting better, having more confidence, and just go out and have a monster year," Swisher said.
No Grapefruit League appearance for Pettitte
MIAMI -- Andy Pettitte's comeback will not include a Grapefruit League appearance, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Sunday.
The Yankees had been considering having Pettitte pitch an inning on Wednesday against the Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the club's spring finale, but decided not to after the left-hander threw 33 pitches of live batting practice on Saturday.
"I don't think it's a setback at all; we're just keeping him on a five-day rotation," Girardi said. "We would have had to ask him to come back a day early, and we just don't feel that that's really a good idea."
Pettitte, 39, has said that he does not consider a Grapefruit League appearance to be necessary as he builds strength toward a goal of throwing 100 pitches. He will next pitch in some capacity on Thursday, potentially in a Minor League game or live batting practice, and he'll remain behind in Tampa once the team goes north. A return date to the Yankees' rotation in early May remains possible.
Mariano Rivera permitted his first spring run since March 15, 2008, in Sunday's game, on Hanley Ramirez's fifth-inning sacrifice fly. The last run he permitted was on a groundout by Jerrod Riggans of the Rays.
The Yankees announced that they have signed right-hander Jason Bulger to a Minor League contract. He will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Bulger has compiled a 4.33 ERA in 125 games over seven seasons with Arizona (2005) and the Angels (2006-11).