Player weights a big topic at Yankees’ camp
David Wells is a changed man.
The former pitcher known as the ”Hefty Lefty” during his
playing days is a Yankees’ spring training instructor in a camp
where player weights have become a main focal point.
In the opening week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said
reliever Joba Chamberlain is heavier, ace CC Sabathia reported 25
pounds lighter after minor right knee surgery and non-roster
pitcher Bartolo Colon is looking to shed 25 pounds.
Even a lighter Alex Rodriguez, who took grounders on a back
field Saturday during his initial spring training workout, was part
of this year’s weighty topic.
”It was his decision,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the
35-year old A-Rod, who had right hip surgery two years ago.
In a camp with some big men, a slimmer Wells caught Girardi’s
eyes right away.
”He’s in better shape now than when he played,” a smiling
Wells has developed a new outlook about carrying too much
weight. A type-2 diabetic, Wells also reflected on how extra pounds
affected back and knee injuries.
”That’s why now, some of the bigger dudes, if they do have
weight problems, I’m here if they want to talk to me about certain
things,” Wells said. ”I would push them to lose the weight, not
be a hard (guy) like I was because I’ve been through all the
injuries. Do what they say. Get down to the goal they want you to,
or get close to it. I’m sure they’ll compromise.”
Wells didn’t consider an issue when he played due to his good
”I could do all the drills at a heavy weight because I felt I
was comfortable,” Wells said. ”I got down to 240, where they
wanted me, and I pitched the same.”
Chamberlain responded to Cashman’s comments by saying after
working out in a gym at his house this winter that he’s in better
shape than the past.
But, Chamberlain faces the one challenge Wells did.
”If you get your butt kicked, you’re fat as can be, and you’re
skinny when you’re going well,” Wells said.
Chamberlain wouldn’t say if he reported above the team-suggested
weight, and doesn’t to address the matter, again.
Colon, on the other hand, was very open, saying he weighed in at
”I have a goal, but I won’t be able to do it at spring
training,” he said through a translator. ”I feel really good
right now the way I am, but I feel like I need to go down in my
The 37-year old Colon topped out at 278 points while pitching
”We’ll help him get it off the best we can, safely,” Cashman
Also, first baseman Mark Teixeira, coming off a season in which
he had a broken toe, sore thumb and strained his right hamstring in
the fourth game of the ALCS, said there are no lingering
”It’s over,” Teixeira said. ”I play hard. I’m going to get
hit with pitches. I’m going to dive and jam stuff. You’ve just got
to play through it and hope for best.”
Teixeira increased his batting practice sessions this winter in
preparation for a season where he considers the Yankees to be an AL
”I love it,” Teixeira said. ”No one is picking us right now,
and everybody in here should be looking forward to winning a
championship. We played terrible in the playoffs. We didn’t win the
division. We’ve got to re prove ourselves this year, which is going
to be fun for all of us.”
Notes: Fans have been speculating about the potential of trading
Teixeira to St. Louis for slugger Albert Pujols, who could become a
free agent after the season. Even if the teams decided to explore
it and came to a deal, Teixeira has a no-trade clause and would use
it. ”I’m not going anywhere,” Teixeira said. ”I got that no
trade for a reason. I’m going to be buried in these pinstripes.”
… 2B Robinson Cano got the days mixed up and missed Saturday’s
physicals. He is expected to arrive Sunday for the first full squad
workout. ”It’s no biggie,” Cashman said. ”He’s not going to miss