TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw 30 pitches Wednesday in his first bullpen session at spring training this year.
“I survived,” a smiling Rivera said.
The 41-year-old closer has taken a slower approach to preparing for the season in recent years.
Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey stood in the batter’s box for part of the session and joked afterward that Rivera will now “take another two months off.”
Rivera also played catch in the outfield and made six warmup throws on the mound.
“It was excellent,” he said. “First bullpen, you find location.”
Rivera plans to have another throwing session Friday or Saturday. After a few more side sessions, Rivera will likely throw batting practice twice before pitching around eight innings in spring training games.
“I don’t need more than that,” he said.
Rivera was 3-3 with a 1.80 ERA and 33 saves in 38 chances last season. The 11-time All-Star has 559 regular-season career saves, second to Trevor Hoffman’s 601, and a record 42 in the postseason.
Rivera agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract in December.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.