Girardi to team: Don't try too hard

February, 15, 2014
Feb 15
3:16
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- If there is one message that Joe Girardi tried to make clear to his pitchers and catchers during their first meeting, it's this:

Don't try too hard early.

Girardi said he told his pitchers before the team's first official workout to not overdo it at the beginning of the spring. He added he will keep reiterating the message in the coming weeks.

Girardi said that no one will make the team in the first two weeks. It is a time to build up arm strength to ready themselves to compete.

RYAN EXPRESS: With Derek Jeter expected to be limited in terms of the numbers of games he can play at short, Brendan Ryan could be an important Yankee. Ryan can field with anyone, but can he hit the .230-260 that the Yankees need so he can be a plus player?

In 2009, Ryan hit .292 with the Cardinals. In 2010, he was at .223. In Seattle, he was at .248. Since, then he hasn't cracked .200 the past two years.

With the Mariners, they wanted Ryan to try to hit for more power for some reason. Ryan has never hit more than four homers in a season and Safeco is one of the worst places to go deep.

So the Yankees would like Ryan to return to the basics he had with St. Louis. They aren't looking for big numbers, but they do believe if he can hit a little then his glove will make an impact when he is replacing Jeter.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.291 8 46 47
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 58
OPSJ. Ellsbury .777
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135