For the first time in a long time, the Yankees have a “young” team. I recently wrote about the importance of having mentors on and around the team to help the youngsters blossom. BYB has been writing about it for years. Besides the veterans and coaching staff, every year the Yankees have guest instructors present at Spring Training too. A couple of weeks ago former Yankees Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez appeared in Tampa to work with the team. Last week, for 2 days, it was Andy Pettitte’s turn. The New York Post talks about his work with Greg Bird…
“In an effort to get more familiar with left-handed pitchers, Greg Bird asked one of the best lefties in Yankees history to throw extra batting practice to him Tuesday on a back field…. ‘I’ve only been here one day, but he was covering balls really, really well. He looks like a great hitter,’ Pettitte said.”
After missing the full season and only really getting at-bats in the Arizona Fall League, it’s great to see Greg trying to get all the extra work he can. I really love the fact he asked Andy to pitch more than batting practice fastballs. Knowing he hasn’t faced many left-handers so far and taking advantage of having one there, really impresses me. If Greg can use this to his advantage and master the art of hitting a lefty then that would lead us back to the excellent point and piece by Jeana. Was the signing of Chris Carter a waste of money?
And yes, it wasn’t just Greg Bird taking advantage of having Andy in camp either. It seems as though he has taken Justus Sheffield under his wing. At least that’s what this little nugget from Lou DiPietro and MSN states.
Andy Pettitte praised Justus Sheffield yesterday. Today he is sitting next to Sheffield chatting about pitching. #Yankees
“Sheffield has to be excited about receiving advice from a pitcher who won 256 games in his career. Pettitte has also never had a losing record in his 18-year career.”
Being a 20-year-old left-handed pitcher and having Andy Pettitte take you under his wing has got to be exciting. I believe this kid has a bright future let’s hope he learns a few things from Andy.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
But the story today is Bird. The kid’s emerged as a future leader and consuming everything he can to almost have the torch passed to him by one of the Core 4. Couple that with the amazing prospects that surround him on this young, energetic Yankee team and there is plenty of excitement.