Recovering from elbow trouble closer supreme Mariano Rivera can’t find the plate….and that’s considered progress, writes the New York Post’s George King.
Mariano Rivera morphed into Mitch Williams yesterday in a Legends Field bullpen, and the Yankees could have cared less if Rivera’s location resembled Wild Thing’s.
The most important development for Rivera and the Yankees was that his right elbow came through an extended throwing session without barking after testing it with high-octane fastballs. Rivera has been sidelined since March 12 with bursitis and the rustiness showed in his pitches to catcher Mike Borzello, not many of which cut the plate in half with several so high Borzello had to come out of his stance.
“I don’t care about control,” said Rivera (above), who tossed 40 warm-up pitches and 63 off the mound out of the stretch. “It will be fine. I care about the elbow and it’s fine. I had no doubt it would be fine.”
Good enough to work a game tomorrow night against the Phillies at Legends?
“Hopefully,” said Rivera, who has worked three innings in three games. “Obviously I have to feel good. (Yesterday) was a good day but (today) is the biggest.”
If the Yankees want to give Rivera an extra day, he could throw in a minor league game Wednesday instead of making the trip to Sarasota for a night tilt versus the Reds.
The sight of Rivera being all over the place was strange since Rivera’s strength is impeccable control and the ability to throw the ball exactly where he wants it.
“I am not worried about it, but I am not used to seeing the ball go wherever it wants,” Rivera said. “It was the first time in (eight days) that I was on the mound. I didn’t expect for the control to be all there.”