David Aardsma throws 35 pitches including sliders

The Yankees made a move during the offseason to sign former Mariners closer David Aardsma to a two-year deal with the catch that he’s recovering from Tommy John Surgery. It seemed like a minor move at the time, but with injuries to Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain this signing seems bigger than ever.

On Monday, Aardsma took a big step forward in his recovery on Monday as he Tweeted that he threw a 35-pitch bullpen session that included sliders.

Just getting back on a mound is good for a pitcher recovering from TJS, but to be throwing sliders at this point means that he’s getting close. All along the expectation is that he comes back around the All-Star break and this seems to be in line with that thinking. He’ll probably throw for four to six more weeks before he starts getting into some rehab games. From that point it shouldn’t take too long since as a reliever he won’t need to get stretched out too far.

The Yankees will take it slow with him because the last thing they need at this point is for him to have a setback and lose yet another reliever.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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5 Responses to David Aardsma throws 35 pitches including sliders

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    I remember plenty of posters complaining about this signing as being insufficiently important. Looking better all the time.

    • Bronx_Knight says:

      Hear, hear.

      Aardsma's career line is a decent 4.20 ERA, with a 1.43 WHIP, based on five seasons (not counting 2004, when he appeared in only 11 games). Those numbers mask the fact that there have been three Aardsma's. There was a scrub in 2007 and 2008, with an ERA of about 6.00 and a terrible WHIP of 1.7. Somehow, that scrub metamorphosed into a solid closer, with a total of 69 saves in 2009 and 2010, an ERA of about 3.00, and a very solid WHIP of 1.16. (In 2006, his first full year in the bigs, Aardsma's numbers tracked his career line.)

      Which Aardsma will show up for us later this year? I think there's a good chance it will be a guy who can post very respectable numbers.

      First, based on his numbers, it looks like Aardsma did something crucial (maybe learning a new pitch) between 2008 and 2009, to transform himself from a replacement-level reliever into a solid closer. If this is the case, then he should be able to replicate that technique.

      Second, Tommy John surgery is a tried-and-true technique, and, once fully healed, pitchers can come back even stronger than before the surgery.

      Given the lengthening list of pitching injuries we have had this year, as Tanned Tom puts it, the Aardsma deal is looking better all the time.

  2. NYYinATL says:

    I agree as well. In fact, even with Mo going down and Robbie on a brief DL stint, the pen is the least of the Yankees worries.

    Eventually they will have options: Robbie, Sori, Logan, Aardsma, Joba, Wade, Phelps and possibly Hughes, Betances and Banuelos. Lots of talent there.

    The biggest worry I see is starting pitching. CC is fine. Kuroda looks like a decent #3. Nova needs to regain his form. Waaay to many balls being hit hard right now. Andy looked rusty (as to be expected) but should also be a #3. Hughes needs to be in the PEN. LOVE Phelps' stuff.

    Still not having a #2 is a problem that needs to be addressed.

    • Bronx_Knight says:

      Sounds like you would have Phelps start over Hughes.

      Could still happen if Hughes implodes …

    • Bronx_Knight says:

      If Kuroda can consistently pitch to his historical levels with the Dodgers, he will be a serviceable number 2.
      Same goes for Andy — if he can regain his historical form, he will be a fine number 2 — which is what he was for most of his career.

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