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Posada clears another hurdle

March 20, 2009 3:24:57 PM PDT
Jorge Posada made his first three throws to second base on stolen base attempts in spring training without any problems during a minor league game intrasquad game on Friday. "It was good," Posada said, rehabilitating from right shoulder surgery last July 30. "The last one was the best one I threw. Based on the way I felt coming up, staying back and throwing through the bag instead of throwing to the bag. It still had some carry when it got to second base."

Posada and left-hander Andy Pettitte played for Double-A Trenton against Triple-A Scranton/Wikes-Barre at the Yankees' minor league complex.

"He looked good," Pettitte said. "He said he felt good, that's the important thing. He looked normal to me. I know it's a battle for him getting off that surgery and coming back from it. I think this is another step."

Runners were successful on all three stolen base attempts, although on two of the chance runners got strong jumps on Pettitte. The other try resulted in a close play.

The game also marked the second half of Posada's initial time this spring training playing defense on consecutive days.

"Quick turnaround," Posada said. "The shoulder felt fine warming up and in-between innings throwing the ball. I'm really happy with everything."

Posada will catch again on Sunday in a minor league game that will include CC Sabathia, the Yankees' expected opening-day starter.

"I'm getting stronger," Posada said. "Now it's the timing part and getting the arm strong so I can really snap the throw down there."

Posada played in just 51 games last season, hitting .268 with three homers and 22 RBIs.

Pettitte allowed one run, three hits, one walk and struck out seven over 5 1-3 innings.

"It's positive," Pettitte said. "My command felt good. Everything is going good right now. Hopefully, I can just carry it right over to the season. It was a good day."

Pettitte threw 65 pitches. He will start another minor league game on the Yankees' off-day next Wednesday.

"His spring has gone according to plan," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before leaving for Friday's game against Minnesota at Fort Myers. "He's had no minor issues. No shoulder issues, so we feel good about that."

Second baseman Robinson Cano played the field Friday for the first time since rejoining the Yankees on March 13 following the World Baseball Classic. Cano had been limited to pinch hitting and designated hitter the past week due to right shoulder tendinitis.

"There was no pain," Cano said. "Everything was perfect."

Notes: Posada went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, coming off right shoulder surgery, said he felt fine, one day after making his second spring training appearance. The right-hander has thrown two perfect innings overall. ... OF Nick Swisher (bruised left calf) did not take part in on-field workouts. He could miss a couple games after fouling a ball off his leg Thursday.


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