Saturday, February 16, 2013

Don't Forget About Cesar Cabral

With almost every other pitcher still in the earliest phases of their Spring Training routines, Michael Pineda has dominated the headlines with the positive reviews he's gotten from his rehab work.  But there's another pitcher also on the comeback trail who's worth keeping an eye on, and that's lefty Cesar Cabral.  You might remember Cabral as one of last year's Rule 5 draft picks who came to camp and impressed the coaching staff.  He actually had a leg up on Clay Rapada for the 2nd LOOGY job, and probably would have won it were it not for the fractured elbow he suffered late in camp that caused him to miss all of 2012.

Via Chad Jennings, Cabral was also out on the mound yesterday and threw a 25-pitch session that drew positive feedback from Joe.  Like Pineda, Cabral won't be ready for the opening of the 2013 season, but his return should come much earlier as a reliever and could be a blessing if there are problems with Boone Logan.  George King reported yesterday that Logan had a wrap on his arm after throwing long toss and Larry Rothschild confirmed that the Yankees "are being cautious with him" this spring.  The first few days of ST are hardly the time to be cautious with a pitcher who isn't hurt, and this approach is a sign that there's concern about Logan's health after his heavy 2012 workload.  Cabral's presence not only gives the Yankees the opportunity to be cautious with Logan, but also to have another lefty option should Logan end up on the DL.

The Yankees could have very easily cut bait on Cabral last year after he missed the season, and it would have been perfectly understandable given his injury and the fact that they added more LOOGY depth to their system.  But they kept him around, brought him back to camp this year, and barring another injury will have him available should their bullpen require another lefty arm.

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