Spring training has started, and with mostly pitchers and catchers having reported so far, it's been about stretching arms and getting loose. The sound of baseballs popping into catcher's mitts confirms that they are also starting to shift up the velocity. By all accounts, the news out of George M. Steinbrenner field is promising so far.
Most fo the spotlight has been going to Aroldis Chapman, arguably Brian Cashman's biggest acquisition this past offseason. It must have been hard not to stand and watch him throw, what with what has been called baseball's best fastball of 2015. Under game conditions, he averaged nearly 100 mph with that fastball. Both Cashman and Joe Girardi had high praises for what they saw. Imagining the possibilities is hard to resist when you're watching him throw alongside Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Three of the best relief pitchers in the game, wearing pinstripes, working out to get ready for the season.
More news came out of the worrisome part of Yankees' camp. Masahiro Tanaka threw but did not extend himself too much, as ordered by the Yankees. Reports are that his sessions are going well and that he is making good progress though the Yankees still have given him no timetable on when he will be ready to pitch in a regular season game, or even when he'll be ready to face any hitters this spring. But everyone sounds optimistic.
All in all, 33 pitchers reported to camp and many fo the rookies are hopeful. You can't blame them, with so many of their fellow pitchers being promoted and considered for major league work. Personally, I think it's a good thing to have competition and for them to feel hopeful that they have a legitimate shot. Spring is here, and the outlook is good.