"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hawkins pitching to impress

Tyler Kepner, who just had a baby, arrived in Tampa yesterday and is reporting that LaTroy Hawkins has been impressing manager Joe Girardi in camp thus far, via iYankees.

"Hawkins threw great," Girardi said. "The thing that I’ve seen in all of his bullpens is everything is down. He has the sinker. He's a different guy than what we saw a couple years ago, where he was the power guy with a big hook. He was excellent today."

Hawkins said he smoothed his mechanics last season, and when he missed his location, he rarely did so in the middle of the plate. His fastball command was better, he said, which helped him meet the goal he sets every season.

"Guys are going to get their base hits, but you can sure keep from walking them," Hawkins said. "That’s the truth. You can't let guys get on ahead of those base hits.

"That's my goal: to walk less than 20 guys coming out of the bullpen. That's right where you want to be, 20 or less over the season."
I was happy about the Hawkins deal for the simple fact that it was only for one year. The Yankees usually threw multi-year deals at mediocre relievers (Steve Karsay, Kyle Farnsworth) and finally learned their lesson.

However, I like his attitude a lot and it seems like he's working really hard at camp. If he's successful, he could improve the bullpen that has been rather shaky over the last few years.

Back in December
, Brian Cashman said that Hawkins will be scheduled to pitch the sixth and seventh innings. I haven't seen anything that says differently, so it still looks as if Farnsworth and/or Joba Chamberlain (at least in the beginning of the season) will handle the eighth. If Farnsworth struggles after Chamberlain completes his transition back into the rotation, Hawkins would be next for the role.


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