Day one in Tampa was chronicled in my Christmas in March blog about my unforgettable day with Roger Maris' kids. Day two was my first trip out to George M. Steinbrenner Field. Most of the team is away playing the Tampa Bay Rays, but a lot of the big names stayed home. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira took batting practice.
The Yankees have a trio of special young pitchers. All of their last names begin with the letter ‘B,” prompting some Twitter favorites to nickname them the "Killer B's." In order for them to achieve this moniker in my eyes, they will have to make the big club and prove themselves in the Bronx, so until then I will refer to them as the "Could B's." Those three pitchers are Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, and Andrew Brackman. I interacted with 67 percent of the "Could B's" today. I saw Andrew Brackman's bullpen session and let me tell you, when the 6-11 Brackman gets his entire frame into a pitch, man does it sizzle. I also interviewed Banuelos.
Patrick Teale, editor of PinstripesPlus.com and Pinstripes Plus the magazine, who has been on “Yankees Batting Practice Today” throughout the past couple of seasons, first brought Banuelos to my attention at the beginning of last season. I credit Patrick for being on top of his game with the information on the then 18 year old with amazing stuff and command. We were lucky enough to be able to interview Banuelos. Betances was on the road trip and couldn't be reached for comment. As Buster Olney likes to say on Twitter, "Heard this": when Banuelos pitches, teammates, coaches and fans all stop and watch in awe of what this kid is bringing to the table. Banuelos, who has been a Yankee fan since he was a child, gets to face the Red Sox Friday night here at "The Boss" and I cannot wait to see him in action.
I also had the opportunity to talk to Mark Prior, who as we all know is trying to come back from two shoulder surgeries. He is looking to make this club and experience some of the success his former Cubs tag -team partner Kerry Wood (or "Woodsie" as he called him) had last year.
It's been a great two days so far. I am looking forward to the rest of my time down here in Tampa, bringing you the sights and sounds from Spring Training '11.
Follow Chris Shearn on Twitter: @ChrisShearnYES