Joba nearly plunks Nunez during batting practice
TAMPA, Fla. -- Batting practice turned into an eventful, albeit somewhat dangerous, happening on Wednesday.
On a back field at the Yankees' Spring Training complex, Curtis Granderson lined a pitch that hit non-roster right-hander Kelvin Perez in the left elbow. Perez finished his throwing session, but he walked around the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon with a compression bandage wrapped around his left arm.
On the main field, right-hander Joba Chamberlain's second pitch to infielder Eduardo Nunez buzzed just behind his head. Nunez dropped to the dirt and stayed down several seconds, but he bounced up fine. After swinging at Chamberlain's first pitch, Nunez watched the rest pound the catcher's mitt.
"I was so scared," Nunez laughed afterward. "The first day, behind my head, I was so scared. I don't want to hit anymore. ... [Chamberlain] said, 'I'm sorry, my bad, Nuney.'"
Aside from Chamberlain's way-up-and-in offering to Nunez, he appeared to be throwing the ball with the kind of power one would expect out of the big right-hander. Manager Joe Girardi agreed that Chamberlain seems to have regained his strength after sitting out most of last year with a severe ankle injury.
Chamberlain returned to the mound Aug. 1 last season and pitched 20 2/3 innings in 22 games, recording a 4.35 ERA and 22 strikeouts.
"As we get closer to the end [of Spring Training], I expect to see the power that he has. I think you'll see it from him," Girardi said, "but sometimes, arm strength takes some time to develop in Spring Training for these power guys. Big thing is, you're getting outs. That's the bottom line."