TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Top New York Yankees prospects met Derek Jeter for dinner.
Since his retirement following the 2014 season, Jeter has gone to dinner every spring training with the group attending “Captain’s Camp.”
Pitchers Justus Sheffield and James Kaprielian were among 20 prospects who dined Tuesday night and got to ask questions.
“You could hear a pin drop,” Sheffield said Wednesday. “As soon as he came in, I know for a fact that I was smiling. It’s Jeter, that’s crazy. Everybody was locked in. He gave great feedback. He was open. Every question that everybody asked, he had a main point.”
And one of the points was to remain positive.
“He doesn’t like to think negatively,” Sheffield said.
It was the first Sheffield met Jeter. Kaprielian was also at last year’s gathering.
“It’s very casual. He said ask me anything about on or off the field, and I’ll tell you the best answer I can,” Kaprielian recalled. “You look around the room, and all the guys were eyes open, ears open. It was pretty special for all of to be there.”
Manager Joe Girardi said 36-year old left-hander CC Sabathia, coming off arthroscopic knee surgery in October, likely will pitch in simulated games instead of spring training exhibitions during the first few times through the rotation.
Girardi said Sabathia has not had any knee issues but the team is able to control is routine better with a simulated game.
Back-of-the-rotation candidate Bryan Mitchell is to start Friday’s spring-training opener against Philadelphia. He will be followed in the rotation by fellow contenders Adam Warren, Luis Severino and Chad Green. Scheduled opening-day starter Masahiro Tanaka is to make his first outing Tuesday.
Through the first three seasons of $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury hit .264, which is 33 points lower than his seven-season average with Boston.
“I’ve always looked at it to move on no matter what kind of year I had, even after some of my best seasons,” Ellsbury said. “That season is over. It’s all what you do this season. I worked hard this offseason. Continue to work hard, that’s all I can do.”
After most of the workout was moved indoors due to rain, Girardi held his media session in a darkened room due to a power failure in the Steinbrenner Field area.