2/23/2014 6:30 P.M. ET
Pineda 'dialed in' as he faces Yanks hitters
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
TAMPA -- Right-hander Michael Pineda threw his first live batting-practice session of the spring Sunday morning, said he's feeling "great" and that he's just trying to get ready to pitch in games.
Catcher John Ryan Murphy said Pineda, competing for the final spot in the Yankees' rotation, had "really good" command Sunday but added, "I don't think he's where he thinks he should be yet, but overall, he was pretty good."
Murphy also said Pineda has been focusing a lot more on his changeup, a third pitch to complement his fastball and breaking ball, and it looked "pretty good" against Ramon Flores and Jose Pirela.
"I thought the last five to seven pitches he got dialed in, which to me is a good sign," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who watched Pineda throw. "The first time you face a hitter in four or five months, you don't expect guys to be as sharp as they're going to be. But he got better as he went along, which is a great sign to me."
It appeared Pineda was working a little faster than usual, particularly when compared to his rehab starts in 2013, and Murphy noted that Pineda may have been a little jumpy. Murphy said pitching coach Larry Rothschild mentioned it as well and guessed it was a product of Pineda being excited to face hitters for the first time.
Still, Murphy said, even now you can see Pineda's front-line ability every time he throws a pitch.
"He's got the electric stuff. He's got a chance to be a high-end guy," Murphy said. "You can see his potential every pitch."
Jeter slated to see game action on Thursday
TAMPA -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter will make his Spring Training debut on Thursday against the Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field, manager Joe Girardi said Sunday.
Jeter ran the bases for the first time during Sunday's workout, leading the group of position players during a drill on the main field at Steinbrenner Field.
"Everything's good," Jeter said after the workout.
The Yankees open up their Spring Training schedule Tuesday against Florida State University and play the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday, but Girardi said he wanted Jeter to run the bases another time before taking the field.
Jeter said he was looking forward to getting back on the field for the first game of his final year in the Majors and his first one since Sept. 7.
"It's been a while since I played a game, so I think everyone looks forward the first game in Spring Training. You want to get games under your belt," Jeter said. "I'm looking forward to it, but don't rush it. I told you, one day at a time. Let me enjoy the rest of today."
Girardi also said he began the process Sunday of figuring out who will be a part of the Yankees' visit to Panama on March 15-16. Jeter was pretty sure he will make the trip -- hardly a surprise, considering his relationship with Mariano Rivera, who will be honored in the pair of exhibition games at Panama City's Rod Carew Stadium.
On that note, Jeter joked, he has a trip in mind for the Yankees come Spring Training 2015, after he retires.
"We're going to Kalamazoo next year," Jeter said, referring to his hometown in Michigan. "My old high school team."
Girardi anticipates practicing new replay rules
TAMPA -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi and some of his coaches took part in a meeting Saturday to discuss the expanded replay system, which will be put into effect this season.
Girardi said the 2 1/2-hour meeting was held at the Phillies' Minor League complex in Clearwater, Fla., and representatives from the Phillies, Blue Jays and Yankees were in attendance along with MLB executive vice president Joe Torre.
"I thought it was very informative. I thought they did a tremendous job presenting it to us, how it's going to work," Girardi said Sunday. "There were some subtle changes made, I thought, from the last time we talked. There's some complicated issues with it, in a sense, if you're challenging two parts of a play. I thought they did a tremendous job presenting it to us."
The Yankees will get their taste of the new replay system on March 6, when they play the Phillies at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Girardi said New York will practice under the new rules throughout the spring, even during games where they won't be trying out the system. During those select games, Girardi said he and his coaches will essentially go out of their way to look for plays to challenge.
Girardi said it was his understanding that a manager can't ask an umpire to initiate a replay before the seventh inning. Each manager will have as many as two challenges per game, and umpires can prompt a review after the seventh. The new replay system will include the majority of plays outside of calling balls and strikes.
"Basically this is the way it's going to work: If you're for-sure for sure, you just go out and challenge. If you're not for-sure for sure, you go out, discuss it with the umpire and then he's going to basically ask you, after a while, kind of like if you were going to do an argument, 'Do you want to challenge or not?'" Girardi said. "By that time, you should have information from your replay people. And then you say, 'OK, I'm going,' or, 'I'm challenging.'"
Girardi wasn't quite sure yet whether he's looking forward to the new system, even after the meeting, but he is in favor of anything that will help the umpires get more calls right.
"Let me go through it a couple times to see how I feel about it. The thing is, unless you're really 100 percent sure, you don't really want to waste it. Some plays are so close and people are going to have opinions on plays that are so close and you really can't tell," Girardi said. "It opens [managers] up to more that we're going to have to answer for. But I think it gives our game the opportunity to have more things decided on the field, which I think is a good thing. It'll make it more interesting."
Yankees unveil early pitching schedule
TAMPA -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi named his first four Spring Training starters on Sunday, with three of the four involved in the battle for the final spot in New York's rotation.
Left-hander Vidal Nuno will take the ball for the Yankees' Spring Training opener against Florida State University on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Right-hander Ivan Nova will get the start Wednesday against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.
Right-hander David Phelps is scheduled to start Thursday's game against the Pirates at Steinbrenner Field, and right-hander Adam Warren will take the mound Friday against the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.
Girardi said he expects to use five or six pitchers in each of the first few games.
Nuno, Phelps and Warren are in the mix for the Yankees' fifth-starter job, a competition that also includes right-hander Michael Pineda.
• Outfielder/designated hitter Alfonso Soriano (flu) didn't work out with the Yankees again on Sunday. Girardi said Soriano's condition has improved and he hoped that Soriano, who hasn't worked out with the team since position players reported to Spring Training, would make it to Steinbrenner Field on Monday to at least go through a light workout.
• The Yankees are still working to determine when first baseman Mark Teixeira will make his Grapefruit League debut. Girardi said there's no exact date set, and Teixeira still needs to take live batting practice.
"You won't see him early on," Girardi said.
• Girardi said left-hander Nik Turley will take about a week off for precautionary reasons after being held back with a tight throwing arm.