- Posted: 10:45 AM, February 22, 2013
"It was the first batting practice I threw this year and I am really happy with the results,'' Rivera said following a 25-pitch batting practice session at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning. "And it will get better.''
Andy Pettitte preceded Rivera with a 24-pitch batting practice session and stuck around to watch Rivera.
Working with the familiar smooth delivery, Rivera breezed through the workout that was watched by former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, bullpen coach Mike Harkey, GM Brian Cashman and assistant GM Billy Eppler.
"I felt real good. The big thing will be to do the real thing, running to first base and fielding bunts,'' Rivera said. "I have done that on the back field but that's not the same as a real game.''
No date has been set as to when Rivera will pitch in a game.
Rivera, 43, faced minor leaguers Kyle Roller and Rob Segedin and played mind games with Segedin.
"You better swing,'' Rivera said to the Teaneck native before delivering the first pitch of the workout.
When you have been around as long as Rivera, throwing batting practice is just another step to getting ready for a season.
"I wanted to see hitters. I didn't do nothing different than from the bullpen (workouts),'' Rivera said. "It helped me to see how the ball was moving, location and how they are swinging."
Rivera said it didn't take a serious knee injury last May to make the all-time saves leader realize he likes what he does for a living.
"I am excited to feel the mound and see hitters. It was great,'' said Rivera, who hadn't thrown to a batter since last April 30 when he secured a 2-1 win over the Orioles by getting Nick Markakis to bang into a 6-4-3 double play. "I always appreciate it, that's why I love the game of baseball. You don't know when the last day you play (comes).''
So when is the last day for Rivera?
"I don't know, I will let you know,'' said Rivera, who has decided what his future beyond this coming season is but isn't ready to make it public.