2/10/2014 4:08 P.M. ET
Pineda eager to take his place in rotation
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-hander Michael Pineda said on Monday that he's healthy, in shape and ready to compete for a spot in the rotation.
Pineda, 25, who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since being acquired from the Mariners in January 2012, spoke with reporters after working out at the Yankees' Minor League complex. He's been preparing and throwing bullpen sessions with pitching coach Larry Rothschild for about a week.
Pineda admitted that he ultimately can't control whether he cracks the rotation come Opening Day, but he believes he's back to his 2011 form. As a hard-throwing rookie that season, he put together a 9-10 record and 3.74 ERA for Seattle.
"I'm the same Michael Pineda," he said. "I'm feeling 100 percent right now and my body is in perfect shape, so I'm ready to go. ... Everything's in the past right now. This year is the new year, the new season, so I'm ready [to] compete and ready to go."
The 6-foot-7 Pineda appears slimmer than he did while rehabbing the last two years. He noted that he weighs 260 pounds, his playing weight in Seattle, and acknowledged that he gained "a little weight" between 2011 and this offseason.
Overall, the last couple of years have not been easy for Pineda, who came to the Yankees in the trade that sent catcher Jesus Montero to the Mariners.
"It's very hard for me, because I ... was excited for pitching in New York. I've never pitched in New York, so I'm very, very excited for playing in New York. I had the surgery. I haven't pitched in two years. It's a little hard for me," he said. "Two years ago, when the Yankees made the playoffs, I [wanted] to be there. I want to help my team. Last year, too, I was a little sad, because I want to pitch and I want to help my team.
"But right now it's over. I'm here, I'm ready to compete and I want to help my team this year and help my team make the playoffs and play in the World Series. That's what I want."
Pineda will be part of the battle for the fifth starter job, a mix that should include David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno. Pineda wouldn't call himself the favorite or say it's his job to lose, but he clearly is eager to prove himself.
"I'm not really paying attention to if I'm the favorite. I'm focused on my job. I'm focused on doing good in Spring Training," Pineda said. "I know I had injuries, but right now, I'm feeling stronger and my shoulder is feeling good. I'm the same Michael Pineda."
Jeter: Yanks ready to move on without A-Rod
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter said on Monday that the Yankees "have no choice" but to move on without Alex Rodriguez this season after learning on Friday that A-Rod has accepted his season-long suspension.
"We know the fact that he's not here," Jeter said after working out at the team's Minor League complex. "It's a complicated situation, but it's pretty much played out. That's what has happened.
"It is what it is. He's not here for this season, so we're going to have to find ways to win with the team that we have."
Jeter has texted with Rodriguez since Friday, when the third baseman and his legal team withdrew lawsuits against Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players Association. Jeter declined to go into detail about what was said in those texts.
"For us, look, we show up and we do our job. The situation that he's in is a situation that affects him. You'd have to ask him how he feels about it, if he's glad that it's over with," Jeter said when asked if he is pleased with Rodriguez's decision. "It's not something that's weighing on our minds when we're playing games. It's a situation that he has to deal with. Now it's over and it's done with, and we'll move on from there. But you'd have to ask him how he feels about that."
Jeter has said on several occasions that the Yankees are used to dealing with what others might consider distractions, and he believes this situation will be no different.
"[There's] always something going on, but it's not a distraction unless it's something that you have to talk about all the time," he said. "I can't tell you what he's thinking. I can't tell you if he's glad about this or glad about that. You've got to ask him. For us, we don't have to deal with it. It's over and done with. It's a situation that he has to deal with. It is what it is. He's not going to be here this year, so we've got to find ways to get it done."
Jeter, meanwhile, continued his pre-camp workouts on Monday, taking 33 swings during batting practice and fielding 44 ground balls at shortstop.
Cervelli happy to put 2013 behind him
TAMPA, Fla. -- Catcher Francisco Cervelli can immediately recall the date -- Dec. 14 -- when all of his restrictions were lifted. Since then, he has put all his focus toward getting ready for the season.
Cervelli certainly would like to put a rough 2013 behind him. After being given the long-awaited chance to be the Yankees' primary catcher, he fractured his right hand in late April and was suspended for 50 games in August after violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program following Major League Baseball's investigation into the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic in South Florida.
"Last year was a disaster, and we just take the positives out of everything for being a better person and a better player," Cervelli said Monday outside the team's Minor League complex.
Cervelli, now 100 percent healthy, has been working out since the day he was fully cleared. Unlike last spring, he'll enter camp as the clear backup, as New York signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal in November.
"I've just got to keep working, having fun and playing baseball," Cervelli said. "Do what they ask me to do, and I know what's my role now, but you never know."