In the first real test of his repaired right knee, Mariano Rivera took to the mound today at George M. Steinbrenner Field and tossed a 25-pitch batting practice session.
It was like he never left.
Rivera, 43, faced minor league hitters Rob Segedin and Kyle Roller. Allowed to call his own strikes, Rivera breezed through the session looking as normal as ever, despite facing hitters for the first time in 10 months. Manager Joe Girardi praised Rivera’s smoothness and command, noting that Rivera “looked great.”
Rivera is not game ready however, and will likely need a couple more batting practice sessions before making his spring debut. However, everything is on track for Mo to be the Yankees opening day closer.
Rivera, always his strongest critic, seemed to be pleased with his results, as seen in this tweet from WFAN’s Sweeny Murti.
“Didn’t take no vacation…Still there…Hasn’t gone nowhere…that’s good.”–Mariano Rivera on his command.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) February 22, 2013
This can only mean one thing for the rest of the AL: trouble.