One of the keys to the Yankees offense in 2009 will be the recovery of Jorge Posada. We saw last year just how much the team misses him when he’s out of the lineup, and adding even the 2006 version of his bat to the already powerful lineup can make a huge difference in how the season plays out. He’s coming back from major shoulder surgery, so his ability to stick behind the plate all season, or even for 100 games, has come into question. Thankfully, it appears he’s progressing nicely.
He made 140 throws yesterday, backing up to incrementally increase the distance. That sounds like a good number of tosses for a guy who had his labrum repaired in late July. It might not give us an indication of whether he’ll be ready to squat behind the plate on Opening Day, but at least we know he’s making these throws with few, if any, complications.
“I feel good,” he said about an hour after completing the exercise and taking batting practice with fellow early campers Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. “I’m coming along. Every time I throw, I feel good. I’m improving every time I throw, so that’s always good.”
As Jorge notes, improvement is certainly the key here. Brian Cashman has already said that Posada won’t be available to catch at the start of Spring Training, which is fine so long as he’s building up strength in the shoulder. As he gets better he’ll get closer to being game-ready. That’s all we can really ask at this point in his rehab. His answer to the question of being ready for April 6, “I think so,” might not inspire a ton of confidence, but news on his progress does, at least for me. It can’t be easy to come back from shoulder surgery, so I’m just glad Jorge’s on the field.