|The Yankees have reported for duty in Florida, and though they’re just a week or so into spring training the drama has already begun. After spending the better part of last season on the disabled list, it looks like Carl Pavano will start the 2006 season there as well. Disappointingly, Pavano’s back has continued to plague him throughout the winter and the start of spring training, and Torre has declared that he is “not counting” on Pavano being healthy enough to start the season. For what it’s worth, Pavano has said that his back is not as bad as it was last season, and he is optimistic that he will be able to pitch well this season. "It's progressing,” Pavano said of his recuperation. “It feels a lot better. I want to make sure there's no setbacks after what I went through last year."
Sheffield also had some trouble this week, and not just the “I feel duped” emotional kind. Like Pavano, Sheff has been dealing with some back pain that caused him to miss workouts today. Sheff blames his back pain on a bit of over-zealousness, saying that he just needed some rest after taking extra batting practice this weekend. Luckily, Sheff’s back spasms shouldn’t keep him down for more than a couple days.
Florida has been good to some Yankee players, though. Al Leiter, for one, has been tearing it up in practice and impressing Joe Torre along the way. Leiter, who opted for a minor league contract with the Yankees rather than retirement this year, has been pitching well as a non-roster invitee. Torre noted that there is no room on the roster for Leiter right now, but having an extra lefty reliever can never hurt—especially if our starters are heading for the DL already.
Labels: injuries, pavano must die