Right-hander David Aardsma will make a minor league rehab appearance with High-A Tampa tomorrow, he confirmed. The 30-year-old has been shut down since late-June after suffering a setback in his return from Tommy John and hip surgery. Depending on who you ask, he either will or won’t return to the big leagues this season. Alex Rodriguez will play in that game as well.
If we’ve learned anything from Joba Chamberlain this month, it’s that you can’t count on pitchers returning from elbow surgery to be productive right away. Command is usually the last thing to come back, and Aardsma wasn’t exactly Mariano Rivera in that department to begin with. The minor league regular season ends next week, though the Triple-A and Double-A affiliates have already clinched playoff spots. Any rehab assignments could continue there. If Aardsma can get healthy and actually join the bullpen when rosters expand next month, there’s really nothing for he or the team to lose.