Giambi making a case for playing time at first base this season Print
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Tuesday, 26 February 2008 12:24
MLB Headline News

 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Jason Giambi was in a joking mood, saying he might quit baseball right after he finishes an intense running drill set up by new Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
When asked why he would wait until afterward, Giambi quipped, ``I'm a glutton for punishment.''
After an injury-marred 2007, Giambi is in excellent shape and a jovial mood. He has taken part in early workouts and put himself in position to possibly play a lot at first base this year.
``There's a competition at first base, so, if he's able to play first base, it allows us to be a little more creative in our roster,'' Girardi said Tuesday. ``It allows us to be a little bit more creative in the way we use the DH.''
Giambi was on the disabled list for more than two months last season due to a foot injury. The 37-year-old slugger appeared in just 83 games, making 16 starts at first.
``We have to make sure that from a physical standpoint that's where he's at his best,'' Girardi said. ``He was great before he got hurt. I still think he's going to be really productive. I believe that. I look at the shape he's in. I look at the way he's doing his work. He's been outstanding. There's no reason he can't really be productive.''
The list of first base candidates also includes Wilson Betemit, Shelley Duncan, Morgan Ensberg and Jason Lane.
In other news, closer Mariano Rivera said no date has been set yet for his first spring training appearance. The right-hander likely will pitch his normal exhibition season total of nine or 10 innings.
``I haven't changed anything,'' Rivera said. ``Like previous years, whatever I need, that's what I'll do.''
Rivera is third on the career saves list with 443.
Girardi is happy to have Rivera, but wouldn't say if he is the greatest closer ever.
``I think if you say that, you might slight some other closers,'' Girardi said. ``I'll put it in this term, I'm really glad he's on our side. He was a thrill to catch, and he's been a thrill to watch.''
The Yankees will play an intrasquad game Wednesday. Mike Mussina is scheduled to pitch two innings.
Notes: Hall of Famer and spring training instructor Reggie Jackson arrived. Yogi Berra is scheduled to be in camp Wednesday. ... Non-roster RHP Scott Strickland experienced neck stiffness during fielding drills. He was able to take part in a conditioning session. ... Other pitchers scheduled to throw in Wednesday's intrasquad game include RHPs Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner, Ross Ohlendorf, Edwar Ramirez and Jonathan Albaladejo.
 

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