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There may be a new take on pitchers shagging fly balls during batting practice—at least with the New York Yankees.
After future Hall of Famer and Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while tracking down a fly ball during batting practice before an early-season game against Kansas City in 2012, New York's season was in jeopardy.
But the Yankees overcame the loss of their closer, winning the AL East by two games over Baltimore and their American League Division Series (also over the Orioles) before being swept by Detroit in the American League Championship Series.
Now, the Yankees hope to have a similar outcome in 2013. But they want Rivera to be an active part of it.
According to the NY Daily News, Rivera said he’ll be ready for Opening Day April 1 against the Boston Red Sox.
“Oh, yeah, I don’t see why not,” Rivera told Anthony McCarron of the NY Daily News in December 2012. “We have at least three months, four months until that point. I’ll be ready.”
Rivera’s teammate and third-baseman Alex Rodriguez may not be ready for Opening Day, however.
Rodriguez underwent surgery on his hip in early January and will be sidelined at least until the All-Star break in July.
According to the NY Daily News, Rodriguez’s surgeon, Dr. Bryan Kelly, told the Yankees that he found less damage in Rodriguez’s hip than previously expected. This may indicate that Rodriguez will have few complications during his lengthy recovery.