Mariano Rivera has been experiencing off-and-on headaches for the past two weeks, so the Yankees decided to get to the bottom of the matter. George A. King III of the New York Post has the update:
The headaches weren’t as strong, but they didn’t go away. So Friday the Yankees sent baseball’s all-time saves leader for tests to determine the cause of the headaches.
“When you have issues you want to make sure everything is OK,’’ Rivera said of the CAT-scan and blood test.
“They said it seems like migraine headaches.’’
Rivera will make his scheduled relief appearance Sunday in a Grapefruit League game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa and should be able to treat the migraines with medication throughout the 2013 regular season. The Yankees, it seems, are not overly concerned.
“There are protocols and we ran through them,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday. “Even if there is one-half of a percent [of a problem], you want to rule it out. We weren’t worried about it.’’
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”