Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon will attempt to take another step towards returning to the Bronx when throws a 50-pitch simulated game in Tampa on Monday.
Colon, who has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained left hamstring, threw a bullpen session in Tampa on Friday.
"I heard he threw all of his pitches, he threw well. He's going to throw somewhat of a simulated game on Monday and then we’ll see how he's feeling after that," manager Joe Girardi said on Friday. "Hopefully that goes well and we can continue to move forward with him too."
Girardi said he wants to be certain Colon can throw at least six innings and make all of the fielding plays expected of a pitcher before he's activated.
Colon, filling in for Phil Hughes (right shoulder inflammation), went 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA in ten starts.
Girardi was asked what he'd do if and when Hughes and Colon return to the rotation. Brian Gordon will be one odd man out of the current rotation. But Yankee brass will have to choose between keeping Freddy Garcia in the rotation or removing him to make room for Colon. Colon began the season in the bullpen.
"My hope is that we have everybody healthy. That really hasn't been the case here. Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out. And I don’t want that to be the case, I want to make a decision," Girardi said. "But (Colon) has thrown so well in the rotation, it's pretty hard to take him out of the rotation. But there's things that we have to look at."