Today at Yankee Stadium, Brian Cashman, Alan Cockrell, Chase Headley, and the newest member of the team, Matt Holliday, gathered for day 4 of the Yankees Winter Warmup.
Holliday got his first taste of the New York media right out of the gate when he was asked how much he has left. “I think I have a lot left,” Holliday said after some laughter. “I feel really good. I was feeling really good and healthy last year and had some bad luck unfortunately. I’m going to have to go out and play well, which I plan on doing.”
Holliday, who celebrated his 37th birthday this week, is coming off two seasons in which he missed significant time due to injuries. Transitioning to the American League and the DH should help Holliday stay on the field, however.
This offseason, Holliday concentrated on crafting his swing to get more lift on the ball. Last season, Holliday’s groundball rate increased which led to some deflated power numbers.
Yankees hitting coach, Alan Cockrell, knew Matt from his days in Colorado and is confident he will have a big season. “I had him two or three years in the big leagues. He’s trying to get back to doing some of the things he did at that stage of his career — he looks great.”
On what Holliday will mean to the Yankees batting order, Cockrell said “[Holliday’s] gonna be huge in our lineup, in our clubhouse. He’s a veteran guy, a good guy — goes about his work and his business the right way. He’d be a good example for everybody.”
Holliday’s veteran presence is an underrated aspect of his game. Despite the recent Yankees youth movement, Matt understands there are still plenty of veterans on the team who can lead. “One thing I’ve learned is that if you go in and be yourself and set a good example about how you work, guys will want to be led by guys who do things the right way.”
“I play hard and I play to win,” was Holliday’s message to Yankees fans. As we know, that attitude resonates in New York.
In a final bit of Holliday-related news, he will be wearing number 17 this season.
Matt Holliday says he’ll wear number 17. “All the numbers are retired!” #NYYWinterWarmup