2/20/2013 7:30 P.M. ET
Joba nearly plunks Nunez during batting practice
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- Batting practice turned into an eventful, albeit somewhat dangerous, happening on Wednesday.
On a back field at the Yankees' Spring Training complex, Curtis Granderson lined a pitch that hit non-roster right-hander Kelvin Perez in the left elbow. Perez finished his throwing session, but he walked around the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon with a compression bandage wrapped around his left arm.
On the main field, right-hander Joba Chamberlain's second pitch to infielder Eduardo Nunez buzzed just behind his head. Nunez dropped to the dirt and stayed down several seconds, but he bounced up fine. After swinging at Chamberlain's first pitch, Nunez watched the rest pound the catcher's mitt.
"I was so scared," Nunez laughed afterward. "The first day, behind my head, I was so scared. I don't want to hit anymore. ... [Chamberlain] said, 'I'm sorry, my bad, Nuney.'"
Aside from Chamberlain's way-up-and-in offering to Nunez, he appeared to be throwing the ball with the kind of power one would expect out of the big right-hander. Manager Joe Girardi agreed that Chamberlain seems to have regained his strength after sitting out most of last year with a severe ankle injury.
Chamberlain returned to the mound Aug. 1 last season and pitched 20 2/3 innings in 22 games, recording a 4.35 ERA and 22 strikeouts.
"As we get closer to the end [of Spring Training], I expect to see the power that he has. I think you'll see it from him," Girardi said, "but sometimes, arm strength takes some time to develop in Spring Training for these power guys. Big thing is, you're getting outs. That's the bottom line."
Cashman declines to talk about Cano's contract
TAMPA, Fla. -- General manager Brian Cashman declined to comment Wednesday morning when asked if he was optimistic about signing Robinson Cano to a long-term extension.
On Tuesday, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told The Associated Press that there were no new developments in contract talks with Cano, who will become a free agent after this season.
"We expressed to [agent] Scott [Boras] how much we like Robbie and what a great Yankee he's been, and we hope he continues his career here for a long time to come," Steinbrenner told the AP. "We just indicated to him on a very preliminary basis that we were willing to consider a significant long-term contract and left it at that. There's really nothing to report since then.
"The main purpose of the conversation was to just let him know we want Robbie to continue to be a Yankee."
Cano discussed his impending free agency with the media Monday, mostly saying that he wasn't worried about it or focused on it and he'll leave any negotiations to Boras.
The second baseman's $15 million option was picked up by the Yankees in October. The 30-year-old batted .313 with a career-high 33 homers and 94 RBIs last season, but he went 3-for-40 in a disappointing postseason performance. For his career, Cano owns a .308/.351/.503 batting line with 177 home runs and 715 RBIs.
Cano would figure to be the most sought-after player on the open market next winter, and most reports project that he's in line for a massive payday, something in the range of an eight- to 10-year deal with an annual salary around $25 million.
Cano said Monday that he didn't know if he'd be open to discussing a contract extension once the season begins. The Yankees have generally avoided doing so with cornerstone players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
"I don't feel anything about nervousness," Cano said Monday. "To be honest, I'm not focused on free agency. My focus right now is on the 2013 season. I still have one more year under contract and my mind right now is just on helping the team win another championship."
Pineda pleads no contest to DUI charge
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda on Wednesday pleaded no contest to driving under the influence, according to The Associated Press.
Pineda, 24, was arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol on Aug. 20. He was arrested without incident and released on $500 bond. The arresting officer wrote at the time that Pineda "had a fixed gaze and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and glassy," that his breath smelled of alcohol and that his speech was slurred.
According to the AP, Pineda entered the plea Wednesday in a Tampa courtroom, and the judge ordered that he serve 50 hours of community service and up to one year of probation, attend DUI school and pay a $500 fine.
Pineda, who was traded from Seattle to New York last winter, sat out the entire 2012 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He underwent surgery last April and isn't expected to pitch in any Grapefruit League games this spring as he works his way back from the injury. General manager Brian Cashman has said June is a realistic return date for Pineda.
• Girardi couldn't offer a timeline for shortstop Derek Jeter to start running the bases, but he said Jeter looked "OK" during pop-up drills Wednesday.
"I didn't want him running all over the place," Girardi said. "I said, 'Be careful,' when he's out there."
• Girardi spoke highly of the Yankees' young pitchers taking the mound in camp. He singled out 21-year-old right-hander Corey Black, taken in the fourth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, as well as right-handers Bryan Mitchell, 21, and Jose Ramirez, 23. More than anything, Girardi seemed pleased, as he said, "There's more than like one or two."
"There's some power arms that we're seeing," Girardi added. "There are a number of guys that you're going to see throw, probably in Spring Training, 93-95 [mph], and if they're here a long time, you're going to see higher than that.
"We haven't had that, and we have it right now. I know they're young, but it's kind of exciting."
• Girardi said it was "just the way it worked out" that Chamberlain didn't throw to Kevin Youkilis' batting practice group Wednesday. The manager also said there was nothing to look into regarding Brett Gardner's placement in left field and Curtis Granderson in center during outfield drills.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.