It’s been more than a year since David Aardsma has had Tommy John Surgery and two full years since he last pitched in the big leagues before hip surgery, but he’ll finally be an active member of a major league roster later tonight.
“When Joe calls down, or Larry calls, or whoever does it, and my name is called, I’ll be ready,” Aardsma told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “And then I go out there and go pitch. I haven’t faced a big-league hitter in two years, but it’s a matter of, I know my stuff’s been good. It’s been playing really well down in Tampa. I know it’s not the same caliber, but I know my stuff is good. Now it’s just a matter of going out there, getting comfortable, and facing hitters. I’m not expecting to go out there in the toughest situation ever — I don’t think they would do that — but they do want me ready.”
Aardsma was signed by the Yankees last winter to a one-year, $500K deal with an option for a second year. He nearly made it back to the big leagues this past All-Star break, but he suffered a setback and was shutdown for a few weeks. Either way, the contract was signed more with 2013 in mind than 2012.
Don’t expect a lot from Aardsma. As we’ve seen with Joba Chamberlain, it’s not so easy to take a year off and then just jump right back into things. As it is right now the Yankees playoff pitching staff is pretty much set. Aardsma would have to come back and pitch out of his mind to even have a slight chance at important October innings. This is probably more about building his confidence than anything else.
Aardsma is now 30-years-old. In parts of six seasons in the majors, he has a career 4.20 ERA, a 9.1 K/9, a 5.0 BB/9. He serves as the Mariners closer from 2009 through 2010.
No word yet on what the Yankees corresponding roster move will be once they activate Aardsma. My guess is that the Yankees will designate lefty Justin Thomas for assignment.