Damaso Marte is experiencing discomfort in his pitching shoulder and has been scratched from today’s scheduled relief appearance according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News.
Marte said that it is supposedly not as bad as the shoulder injury he dealt with a year ago in spring training that caused him to have a terrible season, until the post-season that is. He also said he doesn’t expect that this will cause him to land on the DL.
The problem is that even if his shoulder isn’t bad enough to put him on the DL he still might not be effective enough to be the team’s only lefty reliever. That means the Yankees may need to carry Boone Logan on the roster whom they don’t exactly have space for.
The easiest way to clear space for him in this situation is to start the season with Phil Hughes in the minor leagues since he won’t be starting until April 15 anyways. If they didn’t want to go that route they could add either Marte himself or Alfredo Aceves, who has been dealing with a bad back, to the DL. Even though Hughes is not really needed right away putting a pitcher on the DL could be a better plan since they are both expected to fill vital bullpen roles and shutting them down for a couple of weeks could only help their long-term success.
Their other option, if Marte’s health becomes a long-term concern would be to try to send Sergio Mitre down to the minors. This would be a last resort as Mitre would have to clear waivers which isn’t likely due to his affordable salary and the constant demand for pitching around the majors.
The answer may even be to start the season with Joba Chamberlain in the minors, but that seems more unlikely than the rest of these options because unless he went down to get some starts it would be a complete waste.
I expect that unless Marte is 100 percent, someone, either Marte himself or Aceves will land on the DL.