New York Yankees: David Aardsma

Pregame: Kuroda, Jeter, Aardsma & Andy

April, 4, 2013
It is freezing again and the Yankees are trying to avoid another 0-3 start. If they lose tonight, it will be the first time in team history they have had back-to-back 0-3 starts.

KURODA OK: Hiroki Kuroda (finger) is on schedule to make his next start. Matt Ehalt will have more on that shortly.

RAIN DELAYED: It was raining in Tampa, so Derek Jeter did all his work inside. There is no word on when he will be back in the bigs because of his ankle. Speculation continues to center around May, but there are a lot of hurdles to cross to get there.

SEE YA: David Aardsma was given his unconditional release.

RELIABLE ANDY: Girardi on having Andy Pettitte take the mound with the Yankees trying to avoid a sweep.

"It is real nice," Girardi said. "Because he has been in so many situations. Andy has pitched in games that are must-win situations, in a sense, or as close to as possible. I'm not saying that is one of those tonight so you don't worry about his emotions going into tonight that you might worry about if you had a young pitcher going tonight."

NOT A FAN: The Yankees play at 1 p.m. in Detroit on Friday after the Thursday night game.

"I don't really understand it completely," Girardi said. "In a normal situation, we would probably would have played Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, if Monday wasn't our home opener, we probably would have had today off. It is something you have to deal with."

Starter Ivan Nova has flown ahead to Detroit.

Overbay makes team, Aardsma let go

March, 29, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lyle Overbay looked more relieved than anything. His three-day tryout ended with him being called into the manager's office in the road clubhouse at Nationals Park by Brian Cashman. The GM simply told Overbay it looks good and the Yankees will make a 40-man move on Saturday to put him on the roster.

Overbay is now the only full-time first baseman on the team. On Opening Day, against the lefty Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis will probably play first with Jayson Nix at third. But in the second game, the left-handed Overbay figures to start against righty Clay Buchholz.

After the brief conversation with Cashman, Overbay, 36, quickly texted his wife to share the good news before reporters had a chance to tweet it.

"I couldn't expect anything more," Overbay said. "This probably tops it all."

Two lockers over, David Aardsma had emerged from the same manager's office and entered baseball purgatory. Aardsma was told he did not make the team. The Yankees complimented Aardsma, but they felt his one-inning stuff did not fit in their bullpen puzzle with righty one-handed specialists Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.

Aardsma, 31, will either be traded in the next week or released. Cashman said there was interest, so the Yankees could be off the hook for the $500,000 plus bonuses that Aardsma will make in 2013.

"There just wasn't space," Aardsma said. "Joe [Girardi] said they needed some versatility, guys who can throw multiple innings."

Aardsma, the Seattle Mariners' former closer, spent 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Instead of Aardsma, the Yankees have taken Shawn Kelley. The Yankees traded for the hard-throwing Kelley right before spring training opened. They view him as a guy who can throw multiple innings. Kelley, 28, had been in the Mariners' bullpen since 2009. In his career, he is 10-9 with a 3.52 ERA. He average 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Girardi also said Ben Francisco and Nix officially made the team.

State of the Binder: Day 11

February, 22, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Last day of workouts before the games begin and Joe Girardi seems happy about that. As he said today, "I've seen enough bullpens." Tomorrow, he gets to see the real thing. Here's the highlights of his post-workout session:

MO LOOKS "NORMAL": And that's good enough for Joe, who stood behind Mariano Rivera during his 20-pitch live BP session and came away impressed. He also got a kick out of Mo saying to Rob Segedin, the first hitter he faced, "You better swing because all you're going to see are strikes," after the kid let the first two pitches go by. And he cracked up when told that after Segedin lined the next pitch into center, Andy Pettitte cracked from the bench, "That'll shut him up." Joe thought Pettitte, who preceded Mo on the mound, looked good, too.

DON'T COUNT OUT JORGE: He was at least half-kidding, but Girardi refused to rule out the possibility that Jorge Posada, in camp for a few days as a guest instructor, could be seduced by the spring training atmosphere and decide to end his retirement. "I know there was a lefthanded pitcher that said he wasn’t coming back, either," Girardi said, referring to Pettitte. "He came to camp, sat in on a few meetings and all of a sudden he was back a couple weeks later. Any time we have a guy that is doing what Jorge is doing, people are going to speculate. And I think it’s fair to do that."

HUGHES IMPROVES: Phil Hughes said his back felt "significantly better" after three days of anti-inflammatories for a bulging disk, but Joe tempered his enthusiasm somewhat. "It’s still too early. I think you have to see him get on the mound to feel that you’re through it and that it’s not going to be an issue that pops up all the time. But that’s a good sign," he said.

COOL ON AARDSMA: Joe was curiously restrained in his praise of David Aardsma, who is trying to work his way back from Tommy John surgery. when asked how Aardsma looked in his live BP, which preceded Pettitte's, Girardi said "Pretty good," with emphasis on the word "pretty. And when he was asked if Aardsma, a former closer with the Seattle Mariners, was reasonably assured of a bullpen spot, the manager said, "I think we have some pretty good competition here for some spots. I like to say all our guys have to earn their spots. That’s the way I look at it. He’s a guy that has closer experience and a lot of experience. You would expect that to pay off." We'll see.

Brett Gardner probably won't hit ...

September, 25, 2012
... and David Aardsma probably won't pitch.

Still, both are back with the Yankees after lengthy absences, and available for tonight's game against the Minnesota Twins.

Gardner, out since April 18 with a right elbow strain that eventually required surgery for the removal of a bone spur, still has not taken live batting practice on the field and probably will not until the Yankees get to Toronto on Thursday. His duties will be limited to pinch-running and as a possible late-inning defensive replacement. Aardsma, who had Tommy John surgery last July and has not thrown a pitch in a big-league game in more than two years, will be used in low-pressure situations, if at all.

"We feel that Gardy can help us on the base paths," Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know how realistic it is that he could do more. He’s not ready to hit in a game, so the best we can do right now is use him as a pinch runner and a defender.”

Which probably means that for the postseason roster, Gardner is that rarest of commodities, a luxury not even the Yankees can afford. Who do you displace from the 25-man roster to make room for a position player who doesn't hit?

"I haven’t even thought about that, to be honest with you," Gardner said. "A lot of things can happen between now and then and I’ll just focus on trying to stay healthy. I'm just excited to be here and able to play again."

As for Aardsma, Girardi was unable to identify a spot in which he would be comfortable using a pitcher who last pitched in the major leagues in September 2010. “We'll have to be careful where we use him," Girardi said. “It won’t probably (be) in a close game, you wouldn’t think, to start out. We’ll have to see how he does.”

Gardner, Aardsma? In. Pearce, Thomas? Out

September, 25, 2012
For the first time since April 18, Brett Gardner's name is back on the Yankees' active roster, and for the first time ever, so is David Aardsma's.

Both were activated by the Yankees today, Gardner after spending most of the year on the disabled list with a strained right elbow that eventually required surgery, and Aardsma after not having thrown a pitch in the major leagues in more than two years with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

To make room on the roster, backup 1B Steve Pearce, who hit .160 with one HR and four RBIs in 12 games for the Yankees, and LHP Justin Thomas, who had an ERA of 9.00 in four relief appearances -- including being charged with the last two runs of Monday night's 6-3 win over the Twins -- were designated for assignment.

Aardsma with team but not quite back

September, 24, 2012
David Aardsma had a locker at Target Field, Michael Pineda's old number on his back, and a big smile on his face, having returned to a big league clubhouse for the first time in two years.

But he still does not have a spot on the Yankees' roster.

Asked what he expected out of Aardsma, Joe Girardi said, “We really don’t know. He hasn’t pitched in a couple years. When we do activate him we’ll have to probably pick some spots to see how he does. Coming back from Tommy John is a serious thing, so we’ll have to see.”

Aardsma, who has not pitched in a major league ballgame since Sept. 19, 2010, as a member of the Seattle Mariners, and had Tommy John surgery in July 2011, was just happy to be back.

"It’s an amazing feeling, to be back in here, knowing that very soon, I’ll be back on a mound again," he said.

It's been a long road back for Aardsma, who suffered a setback during his rehab in July and was shut down for a month. "I haven’t faced a big-league hitter in two years, so I'm not expecting to go out there in the toughest situation ever," he said. "But I know my stuff's been good. It's been playing really well down in Tampa. When Joe calls down, or Larry calls, or whoever does it, and my name is called, I’ll be ready."

Aardsma, who saved 69 games in 2009 and 2010 as the Mariners' closer, said he believed he would be activated on Tuesday, although Girardi was evasive about it. “I don’t know if there’s anything he can really do at this point," Girardi said. "He’s not going to throw a simulated game for us. It’s just something we’ll just have to talk about."

In the meantime, Aardsma's uniform shirt has a 35 on its back, and he shares something with the most recent owner of that number. Neither he nor Pineda has thrown a pitch for the Yankees this year.

But unlike Pineda, at least Aardsma has a chance to.

Notes: Aardsma needs two more weeks

July, 12, 2012
A few notes sent over from the Yankees with my comments in italics:

Earlier today, RHP David Aardsma was seen in Baltimore by Dr. Lewis Yocum (who performed Aardsma’s surgery) and Yankees Team Physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Both doctors recommended that Aardsma have two more weeks of rest without throwing and then commence a throwing program.

The chances of Aardsma having any meaningful impact this year take a big blow. It is still possible, but much less probable.

Earlier today, RHP David Phelps was transferred to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from Double-A Trenton.

Phelps will continue to prepare to be a starter if the Yankees need one.

RHP Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to pitch two innings on Saturday with the GCL Yankees vs. the GCL Blue Jays (10:00 a.m start).

Joba threw 97-MPH in his first outing. If there are no hiccups, he should be with the big club next month.

Setback for Aardsma

July, 2, 2012
Less than an hour after Joba Chamberlain ''reported'' that David Aardsma, like Joba rehabbing in Tampa from Tommy John surgery, was "doing really well,'' Joe Girardi gave out the real scoop: Aardsma had suffered some soreness after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“He’s going through some tests, I believe,'' Girardi said. "He had a setback, so they’re trying to figure out what’s next. Until the tests go through, we won’t know.”

Until recently, Aardsma, who had his surgery last July, about a month after Joba's operation, had been predicting a return to action by mid-July of this year.

Injury updates: Kuroda, Joba, D-Rob

June, 9, 2012
Hiroki Kuroda still plans to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday in Atlanta, but first he needs to throw a bullpen session and see how he feels.

Kuroda took a liner off his left foot in the seventh inning Friday night against the Mets, and X-rays taken after the game were negative.

The veteran picked up the win with his excellent outing of seven scoreless innings.

"Much better than yesterday," Kuroda said, through a translator, about his bruised foot, which was heavily wrapped.

Kuroda, who had a limp as he walked around the clubhouse, said he plans to throw his bullpen on Sunday, but if he can't, he would then postpone the bullpen to Monday.

General manager Brian Cashman said he's less concerned about Kuroda after seeing him Saturday, saying the pitcher feels good. Manager Joe Girardi, like Kuroda, will wait and see how the veteran feels this week before making any determination.

There has not been any discussion as to what other routes the team might take if Kuroda can't start. The Yankees do not have an off day between now and Wednesday, but there are long relievers like David Phelps who could step in if needed.

"We haven't gotten that far," Girardi said. "We'll cross that bridge if we have to do. Hopefully we won't."

JOBA PROGRESS: Cashman is encouraged by the progress of reliever Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain threw off a mound Friday for the first time since dislocating his right ankle in March, and also ran outfield sprints. He hasn't pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, and his ankle injury set him back.

"That's a good sign," Cashman said of the sprints. "He's got some hurdles to clear given the circumstances of his injury and obviously if he can get through stuff like that on a consistent basis, that's a great sign. We don't even know if he can be a runner on a consistent basis going forward."

Chamberlain told the Associated Press that he felt good and is confident he will pitch this season. While Cashman would not guarantee Chamberlain's return, he said it's possible, and the team would use him in the Bronx if he clears all the hurdles.

"He's always Superman. He gets hurt, unfortunately that happens in his career, and he heals a lot quicker than the time frames," Cashman said. "He both breaks down and he's a super healer."

D-ROB ON SUNDAY: Girardi confirmed that reliever David Robertson(strained left oblique) will pitch Sunday in Rochester for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees plan for Robertson to also throw Tuesday, and if all goes well, he could possibly return to the Yanks late next week. Robertson has been on the disabled list since May 14.

AARDSMA UPDATE: Cashman indicated that reliever David Aardsma, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, could be close to pitching in rehab games. Aardsma threw his third bullpen session in Tampa on Friday, hurling 40 pitches.

"I don't want to set a timetable on it, but he's in batting practice, which is the last thing you do before you put him in a rehab game," Cashman said.

The GM added that Aardsma would head to the Bronx once he's ready to do so.

Off-day notes: D-Rob, Joba, Aardsma

June, 4, 2012
Not much going on today -- the calm before the storm of six games against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays and the surprising Mets -- but a couple of notes on the walking wounded pitchers:

David Robertson: He will throw a bullpen today. He is at the beginning of the process of bullpens, batting practice sessions and, eventually, rehab games, and is still not expected back before mid-June.

Joba Chamberlain: As Rob Parker reported over the weeked from Detroit, Joba threw off that oddity of modern rehabilitation, the "half-mound,'' but is still unable to run on his ankle -- which he dislocated during spring training -- so no real timetable is possible yet.

David Aardsma: Had Tommy John surgery a month after Joba last season, so was not counted on at all for 2012. But he has progressed so well in his rehab that he is now considered a strong possibility to pitch for the Yankees this season. Last week, Aardsma tweeted to me that he would be ready by early July; Brian Cashman says August or September is more likely.

Gardner, Joba, Manny B., Campos, etc.

May, 31, 2012
Brett Gardner (elbow) is getting close, but not close enough for Brian Cashman to give a date when he could return.

"We start looking at potentially scheduling games in the minor leagues," Cashman said. "I will hold off on that until the batting practice sessions."

Gardner, out since the middle of April, could take batting practice this weekend and then play in a few rehab games before returning to the Yanks. So at some point toward the end of next week seems possible.

Joba Chamberlain is not running yet because of his dislocated ankle that has kept him out all season, Cashman said. Chamberlain, who is also still recovering from Tommy John surgery, has been throwing off of flat ground. The team is still deciding when or if he can go off a mound before he starts to run.

Cashman said Chamberlain still could be back this season. He declined to give a month.

David Aardsma, the former Mariners' closer, is rehabbing from Tommy John. Cashman said that it is going well for Aardsma. Cashman said that he would stick with the original estimates of August as a time that Aardsma could be ready for the bigs. Aardsma probably has a better chance to make an impact this year than Chamberlain, but that is very speculative.

"It is hard to gauge where guys are until they are in rehab games," Cashman said.

Manny Baneulos, who is still the Yankees' top pitching prospect, is still "shutdown" with left elbow soreness, Cashman said. Cashman doesn't have a time-table for his return, but said it would be this year. There was a slim chance Banuelos could contribute on the major-league level this season, but it is becoming slimmer each day Banuelos misses. Banuelos is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He was on the DL with a back injury earlier in the season. When he returned he was throwing crisper and not walking as many batters, which was a very encouraging sign.

Jose Campos is also still "shutdown" right now because of elbow soreness, Cashman said. Campos was the minor leaguer in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero deal. Campos, 19, began the year 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA at Single-A before a bad outing pushed it up to its current 4.01. He has now been out for three weeks.

"He'll be back this year at some point," Cashman said.

As for the certainty for Banuelos and Campos returning this year, Cashman used the phrase "without a doubt."

• Minor league catcher Austin Romine, out all year, tweeted that he has been cleared for baseball activities. He has been out with a bad back.

David Aardsma: the anti-Joba

February, 28, 2012
David Aardsma showed up in camp today and the Yankees newest bullpen addition, who underwent Tommy John surgery a month after Joba Chamberlain, could not be approaching his rehab differently.

While Joba is literally bursting the reins to get back on the mound -- he threw 16 pitches this morning and declared himself ready to go -- Aardsma is adopting a more cautious approach to his rehab.

"I'm eager to let loose, but I understand the time aspect,'' said Aardsman, who saved 69 games in two seasons for the Mariners before losing the 2011 season to hip and elbow injuries. "I understand you need to take your time because if you push too hard a lot of guys just end up doing it again. And we got time, we got a bullpen here who can handle themselves. It’s not like I need to get back as soon as I can.''

Aardsma's rehab is behind Joba's -- he has yet to throw off a mound, or even a half-mound, so far being limited to tosses of about 90 feet -- and he is currently on the 60-day disabled list and not expected to pitch until at least August if at all this season. The Yankees signed him to a one-year deal worth $500,000 with a club option for 2013 if he makes it back.

Aardsma said he had interest from a lot of other teams, but only the Yankees were willing to sign him now, virtually sight unseen and with little knowledge of the details of his rehab.

"They all said, 'Keep us informed but wait until the end of March when we figure out our rosters,''' he said. "In fact, like 29 teams pretty much said that. But the Yankees were in the forefront, they said, 'Hey, we want to get this thing done. We want you in camp. We got a deal that will stop you from talking to any other teams.'''

Asked when he expected to pitch again, Aardsma said, "Well, I feel like if I’m healthy, I can help this team,'' he said. "So my focus is to get healthy first, and then get out there and pitch and do well. So if it’s this year, or if it’s next year, great. At least I know tha when it happens I’ll be ready.''

Yankees add David Aardsma

February, 22, 2012
The Yankees announced today they have signed David Aardsma, a 30-year-old righty who saved 69 games in 2009 and 2010 for the Seattle Mariners but did not pitch last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July 22.

Brian Cashman, who just announced the deal in the Yankees clubhouse, called the signing "an R&D move'' -- for Research & Development -- meaning Aardsma, who will immediately be placed on the DL, is targeted more for next year than this season, although the GM did not rule out the possibility that Aardsma could pitch in the second half of the 2012 season.

"He's about a month behind Joba,'' Cashman said, referring to Joba Chamberlain, who had his surgery last June. "He's a guy who could help us this year, but who we expect to help us next year.''

Cashman compared the signing of Aardsma to the signing in 2003 of Jon Lieber, who recovered to win 14 games for the Yankees in 2004. Aardsma will be paid $500,000 for this season with incentives if he makes it to the big leagues.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained,'' Cashman said. "He's a power arm we picked up for $100,000 over the minimum (salary) and we feel it could have a nice payoff down the road.''

Cashman said the stockpiling of bullpen arms has nothing to do with the possibility that Mariano Rivera will retire at the end of this season. "This was in the works long before that,'' he said.

To make room for Aardsma on the 40-man roster, Pedro Feliciano, rehabbing from shoulder surgery, was moved to the 60-day disabled list, which is also Aardsma's ultimate destination in order to make room on the roster for Eric Chavez once his deal becomes official. Cashman said Aardsma will join the Yankees in camp on Monday.

UPDATE: Here is the Aardsma release:
The New York Yankees today announced they have signed right-handed pitcher David Aardsma to a one-year Major League contract with a club option for 2013.

Aardsma, 30, has made 254 career relief appearances over parts of six Major League seasons with San Francisco (2004), Chicago-NL (2006), Chicago-AL (2007), Boston (2008) and Seattle (2009-10), going 13-15 with a 4.20 ERA (265.2 IP, 124 ER).

He began the 2011 season on the 15-day disabled list recovering from labral left hip surgery, which was performed on January 3, 2011. He made a brief rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma from April 19-29, before having his rehab halted with right arm soreness. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on June 13 and underwent “Tommy John” surgery in July, missing the remainder of the season.

From 2009-10, the right-hander ranked fifth in the American League with 69 saves, trailing Mariano Rivera (77), Jonathan Papelbon (75), Joakim Soria (73) and Brian Fuentes (72). With 38 saves in 2009 and 31 in 2010, he became just the fourth pitcher in Mariners history to record multiple 30-save seasons. Overall, he has converted 69-of-83 (83.1%) career save opportunities.

The Colorado native was originally selected by San Francisco in the first round (22nd overall pick) of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees placed LHP Pedro Feliciano on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.



Jacoby Ellsbury
.338 0 6 10
HRC. Beltran 4
RBIC. Beltran 11
RA. Soriano 11
OPSY. Solarte .906
WC. Sabathia 2
ERAM. Tanaka 2.05
SOM. Tanaka 28