Colin Curtis missed the entire 2011 after separating a shoulder diving for a ball last spring. He played some winter ball in Venezuela and a couple of weeks ago, rang up some high school kids from his hometown of Issaquah, Wash. to get a few swings in before he left for Tampa.
So imagine his surprise when he got tapped, along with Melky Mesa, to be among the first two foils of CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda , who threw the first live batting practice sessions of Yankees camp Monday morning.
"It's a little different facing sophomores than those two guys,'' said Curtis, who also saw the bright side. "There was some sun out there and they're so big, they kinda blocked it out.''
Sort of like a double solar eclipse. Curtis faced 15 pitches from Sabathia and 10 from Pineda. He had two good rips off CC, one of which looked like it might have gone for a double into the right-field gap, but didn't do much with Pineda.
"I was curious to see what Pineda had,'' he said. "You can tell he's got a good live arm and his slider is a plus pitch.''
He also repeated what at least a half-dozen of his teammates have said about the 6-7, 280-pound 23-year old righty: "He's a monster.''
Curtis, who played some winter ball in Venezuela to rehab his shoulder, also said Pineda's unusual arm slot, a modified throw-quarters motion, made the ball difficult to pick up.
As for the other guy he faced, the 6-7, 290-pound lefty, Curtis said, "I think he's got a chance to make the team. I've heard good things about him.'