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Monday, April 22, 2013
Pregame notes: Ichiro sits, Pineda throws

By Wallace Matthews

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It had been a fairly eventful, and even encouraging day for the Yankees before it was announced that Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch for tonight's game when his back tightened up on him after batting practice.

But before the Youkilis injury, all seemed well with injured-slash-rehabbing Yankees:

Michael Pineda, who had shoulder surgery last April, threw one inning of a simulated game today in Tampa, and according to Joe Girardi, "He did pretty well. He threw all his pitches, his fastball, his slider, his changeup, he threw some really good strikes. I was happy with what I saw. I know it’s a long ways away but for the first time in a simulated game, it was pretty good."

• Ronnier Mustelier, still recovering from a bruised right knee suffered when he ran into a railing chasing a foul pop in a spring training game, played three innings today in an extended spring training game for the first time since the Yankees broke camp. Musty has also been getting a lot of work at third base.

Clay Rapada, shut down during spring training with bursitis in his pitching shoulder, released on April 3 and then re-signed six days later, threw off a mound today at the Yankees' developmental complex in Tampa. Girardi would not say if the Yankees plan to recall him as the second lefty in their bullpen. "I think you've got to see where you're at and what your roster needs are. He was very helpful last year."

• The slumping Ichiro Suzuki (.200 BA, .250 OBP) was benched for tonight's game and replaced by Brennan Boesch in right field, but Girardi said it had nothing to do with Ichiro's lack of performance. "I just wanted to get Boeschy in there, give Eech a day off on the turf. We’re in a stretch of 16 games in a row, so at some point we probably have to give each of our guys a day off, too."