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Yankees Spring Training, Wednesday Feb. 22: Joba Chamberlain, Lou Piniella And More

Here are some notes from Wednesday at New York Yankees Spring Training in Tampa, Fla.

Chamberlain "didn’t look tentative" in bullpen session | The Lohud Yankees Blog
Word was that Joba Chamberlain would pitch off a full mound today. He instead threw of a five-inch mound, but Joe Girardi was impressed with what he saw.

"He looked great," Girardi said. "He looked really good to me. I thought the ball came out well. I thought mechanically he was very sound. He didn’t look tentative at all. I thought he looked very good."

Barring the Unforseen, the Yankees Are Pretty Much Set -
Now that Eric Chavez is back with the Yankees, the team now appears to have all its position players set for 2012, barring trades or injuries. That means the only real questions left for spring training are the identities of the fifth starter — Freddy Garcia or Phil Hughes — and the last three members of the bullpen.

So, in terms of competition for jobs, this may prove to be a rather dull spring training.

The lineup and the roles of the players are already established. And without any stiff competition, a manager might be concerned that the team will not go into the regular season razor sharp.

It’s official: Former Yankee Lou Piniella will join YES Network for 2012 season - NY Daily News
Lou Piniella is returning to TV and the Yankees.

Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network brass made it official Wednesday, saying Piniella will join the network as a special contributor. Last December, the Daily News reported Piniella was headed to YES.

Piniella will work a schedule of games both in the broadcast booth and studio. He will also contribute to YES special event programming and potential postseason coverage. Piniella will make his debut during YES’ spring training coverage.

Hank praises Cash | Pinstripe Posts |
Publicly, Hank Steinbrenner has been pretty quiet since early last spring training – a year and a day ago to be exact – when he seemed to take a swipe at Derek Jeter in talking about the club’s unsuccessful defense of the ’09 world championship.

Today, the Yankees co-chairman praised the job by Brian Cashman this winter, which seemed further proof of ownership’s support since the GM’s personal life became public fodder. "I’m pleased with what Brian was able to get done,’’ Steinbrenner told the Associated Press today, alluding to the rotation additions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda.

"Even if a couple (pitchers) have off years, we’ve got so much depth. But hopefully all will be good,’’ Steinbrenner said. "Our hitting, as always, will be good or good enough.’’

Right-hander Michael Pineda giving Yankees postive first impression | News

It is early, and Spring Training has a funny way of helping imagination project greatness. But the Yankees' initial impressions of the 23-year-old Pineda have been promising, and it is clear they are banking on the 6-foot-7 hurler establishing a big presence.

"I'm working hard in Spring Training," Pineda said. "I want to help my team to the playoffs and the World Series. This is a very good team."

Pineda came at a high price, having been acquired in a four-player deal with the Mariners last month that included top prospect Jesus Montero, but the Yankees are optimistic that the deal will be a success.