TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Girardi's office is getting less crowded each day as more of the "casuals" peel off, leaving us, the wretched dozen beat writers plus a handful of columnists, to chronicle the progress of the 2013 Yankees. Here are Friday's highlights:
YOUK TOO EARLY: Girardi said he had no problem with Kevin Youkilis' comments about the Red Sox -- "I know he’s happy to be here, I know he’s excited to be here and I know he’s going to bring it every day." -- and joked that this only happened because Youkilis came to camp early, before the Yankees PR staff presents its annual Media Training video.
MOUNDS OF OPTIMISM: Girardi watched Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral, both of whom missed last season with injuries, throw off the mound Friday morning and came away "pleasantly surprised." Neither has a shot of pitching in a game this spring but Girardi seemed encouraged that one or both could contribute to the big club in the second half of the season. Cabral, a left-handed reliever, was on the way to making the team last spring before suffering a stress fracture in his elbow.
GUEST OF HONOR: Girardi said he did not know when Jorge Posada, who is slated to attend camp as one of the many "Guest Instructors," would arrive in Tampa. "Our guest instructors kinda make their own schedule," he said. "And a lot of guys usually like to wait until the games start, too."
NUMBERS GAME: Girardi admitted that even he is overwhelmed by the sheer number of players in camp this year -- the Yankees will have 84 in all when the regulars report on Sunday -- and revealed that he carries, and glances at, a team roster out on the field just to keep track of who's who. "I’m learning names and faces," he said. "I know names better than faces, but I'm starting to put them all together." The fact that there are two players assigned each number from 87 to 99 doesn't make it any easier.