Mariano Rivera throws BP for first time since knee injury
New York Yankee iconic closer Mariano Rivera took the mound for the first time since tearing his ACL shagging fly balls. This morning Rivera threw 20 pitches to Kyle Roller and Rob Segedin during batting practice. The 43-year-old Rivera said he was excited to get back on the mound.
“Not nervous, excited,”
“This is the first BP I’m throwing in almost a year, so I’m real happy with the results.”
He (Rivera) had thrown several bullpen sessions in camp and has taken part in all the pitcher’s fielding drills but had yet to face hitters in a live situation.
And he approached it with enthusiasm, calling his first two pitches strikes from the mound and shouting “There you go!,” to Segedin as he lined the third pitch into center field.
“Basically, I just wanted to see the hitters, seeing how they swing at the ball and how they react to the pitches,” he said.
As for his stuff, Rivera said, “It will get better. As long as I keep throwing, it will get better.”
Rivera then talked about his concern with coming off the mound at a quick pace during games. With his surgically repaired knee his may take some time for him to trust his knee again. Rivera also talked about how long it would take him to get ready for the season.
“The big thing now is to do the real thing, covering first base, fielding bunts, all that stuff,” he said. “My command, I don’t worry about. That’s one thing I never worry about. It didn’t take no vacation. It’s still there. It hasn’t gone nowhere.”
“Maybe another one or two more BPs and I’ll be ready (to pitch in a game),” he said. “I don’t know. We have a long time. I’m not trying to rush at all. It felt good to see guys up there again, but the one thing I want to do is get in a real game and see how everything responds.”