The bullpen has been the biggest source of the Yankees' injury woes this season (see: Rivera, Mariano). But over the past couple weeks, some of the key members who aren't lost for the season have been making progress towards their returns. One will be able to return sooner than others, but both the short and long-term prognosis for the re-strengthening of Yankee bullpen depth looks good.
After the jump, here's a quick update on 3 key guys.
Hasn't experienced any setbacks from his oblique injury during his bullpen and side sessions, and it was confirmed before yesterday's game by both Robertson himself and Joe Girardi that he will report to Triple-A this weekend to start a 2-3-game rehab assignment. Barring any setbacks, we should be looking at Davey Highsocks back in a Yankee uniform by this time next week.
I haven't reported on it until now, but Aardsma had been throwing bullpens for a few weeks now, and has recently begun throwing breaking balls again. He pitched a 40-pitch BP session yesterday and appears ahead of his late-summer return schedule from Tommy John. There's still no need to rush the guy back, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Aardsma start a rehab assignment sometime soon and possibly be ready to pitch in the Majors by July.
This story is actually pretty surprising to me, considering the rehab time he lost after his ankle injury, but after tweeting earlier in the week that he had been throwing off a half-mound, Joba had a 25-pitch bullpen session yesterday in Tampa. According to an AP report, Joba has also begun running outfield sprints again as part of his recovery from his ankle surgery and when asked if he was going to pitch again this season he said, "Is that even a question?"
With the likes of Cody Eppley and Ryota Igarashi holding down spots in the 'pen right now (no offense, guys), the eventual returns of all 3 of these guys would be very welcome for the Yankees. When guys started dropping in April and May, the question was who were the Yankees going to find to replace those lost innings? By the time late summer/early fall rolls around, the question could be which current major contributor in the 'pen is going to be out of a job.
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