New York Yankees: Interview with pitcher coach Matt Blake on the Yankee pitchers

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17), pitching coach Matt Blake, starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) talk during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake sounded off on the status of all the Yankee pitchers. Meredeth Marakovitz was most interested in the status of Yankee starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.  She asked if he pitched a bullpen session, and if so how did it go?  Blake responded that he did, and it went better than we expected with 30 pitches with a higher intensity than we expected.

Pitching coach Matt Blake added that he was around 88, 91mph, and he saw he saw all his pitches, so it was really encouraging. It was a very crisp first bullpen so that we feel very good for where he is at. We hope that he will go full bullpen then face full hitting players early next week.

When asked where he thought Masahiro Tanaka was, he stated that he was processing the hit that hit him, he’s doing really well both physically and mentally. He feels okay with what happened and will not face any hesitation with going on the mound. He has progressed really well with the concussion protocol and getting ready to go.

When asked about the next start for New York Yankees Gerrit Cole, Blake said that after a hot start in his last outing, we would go slow and probably allow him five innings and 90 pitches stating that they will error on the side of caution.

When asked about the exhibition games with the New York Mets and Phillies, he said that he knows that Micheal King will start one of them, you’re going to see Hale and Dievi, and in the middle games I will have to get back to you, but it’s going to be a mixed bag of everybody for three or four innings.

When asked about what he saw from Schmidt and Garcia, he said that what he saw was really good. They’ve faced some of our best hitters and have done a really good job; without much ramp-up, they’ve done a really nice job. During the interview, he indicated the Luis Cessa was back( from coronavirus quarantine) with the team and that it would take a couple of weeks to get him up to speed.

When asked if Masahiro Tanaka would follow Gerrit Cole on opening day, Blake responded we would have to see how he responds on these first bullpens and go from there. When asked about the rest of the rotation, he said it too early to tell the starting rotation and will be firmed up in the next day or two.

He was asked, compared to a couple of weeks ago, how has the schedule going.  Blake responded that it had gone smoothly so far. He mentioned how smoothy it has gone using three locker rooms. He felt that he had gotten a really good look at each player. He said that the focus and intensity of the work the guys had put in have been really good. Knowing that we are coming in as a championship team has really helped us.

He said, getting guys up to speed and intensity has been better than expected. When asked about how many pitchers the New York Yankee would carry for the first week or so he said: We haven’t really decided yet, Boonie, me and others have talked about it, it depends on where Tanaka and Cessa are at, we went around what that roster would look like, and he said there are still moving parts involved, but we are getting closer.

In other news today, RHP Domingo Acevedo, RHP Daniel Álvarez, RHP Luis Gil, C Max McDowell, RHP Luis Medina, RHP Adonis Rosa, and     RHP Alexander Vizcaíno have been cut from the roster and assigned to the spring alternate site at Scranton Wilke/Barre.