TAMPA, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira and Dean Anna left the Steinbrenner Field batting cage in the early morning hours Monday, chatting about the mystery righty on the mound. Anna, who has hit right-handers very well in his minor league career, muttered about looking foolish.
"I was taking some bad swings on him the first time," Anna said. "Most of the time I won't be swinging at stuff three-feet in the dirt before it goes to the plate. I had a couple of those swings. That's when I know he has some good stuff, it is just deceiving."
In '12, Campos immediately excited the ardent Yankees farm-watchers at Single-A Charleston, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and then, since he is a Yankee pitching prospect, he ended up needing Tommy John Surgery.
But now the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Campos is back and he impressed Teixeira and Anna. Anna talked about the movement on Campos' curve and change-up.
"Everything was down and moving away from me," Anna said. "But his curveball was very good too. It was difficult four feet in front of the plate to tell if it were going to be a strike or not. That was real surprising."
Meanwhile, Manny Banuelos struck out Teixeira in one at-bat with a nice fastball. (Teixeria objected to the calls made by pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the turn.)
Later, Teixeira lined a clear single off Banuelos. (Since there were no fielders in the simulated game, it is just a simulated guess.) Banuelos showed off his curve and his fastball, which looked like it had some bite even after Tommy John.
"It seems like he can place the ball wherever he wants to," Anna said.
Banuelos is probably headed to Triple-A as a starter, though the Yankees have given him an outside shot of making the big club as a reliever, while Campos is likely to end up in A-ball somewhere.
But when you think about the Yankees farm system, Campos is a guy that could help make three-part series like this one go away.
TEX ON THURSDAY: Against Campos and Banuelos, Teixeira stepped in for some simulated at-bats for the first time this spring in preparation for his first exhibition on Thursday in Clearwater, he said. Teixeira was disappointed he didn't see enough pitches. He saw a total of 25 and felt fine afterward.
DEREK DAY: The Captain is in the lineup today. David Robertson will also appear in the game.
LINEUPS: Today's game vs. the Nats will be on YES and you can follow me here.
Brett Gardner, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Brian McCann, C
Brian Roberts, 2B
Kelly Johnson, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Zoilo Almonte, LF
Corbin Joseph, 1B
Ivan Nova, P
Denard Span, CF
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Tyler Moore, LF
Scott Hairston, DH
Jose Lobaton, C
Matt Skole, 1B
Zach Walters, SS
Will Rhymes, 3B
Eury Perez, RF