Archive for David Robertson
Got a pair of quick injury updates…
- Brett Gardner (elbow) will play in his first minor league rehab game with Low-A Charleston tomorrow. “Brett will play tomorrow and possibly Saturday,” said VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman in a release. “We are taking it one game at a time with him. His coming to Charleston is his first step toward getting back in left field in Yankee Stadium.”
- David Robertson (oblique) threw live batting practice at Yankee Stadium today and based on Joe Girardi‘s comments yesterday, the right-hander could appear in his first minor league rehab game this week.
- Mark Teixeira (cough) has been diagnosed with vocal cord damage after seeing yet another specialist about his continued coughing problem. He won’t miss any games or anything, but it will take some time to heal completely.
- Joba Chamberlain (ankle, elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. He threw off a half-mound last weekend and apparently things went well enough for him to get back up on a full mound. It’s been less than 12 weeks since Joba suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle, so this is kinda mind-boggling. He’s coming back way quicker than I imagined.
Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees intend to keep Rafael Soriano in the closer role even after David Robertson returns from his oblique strain in (hopefully) two weeks. I’m a fan of the move, I’ve wanted Soriano to close ever since Mariano Rivera got hurt. It frees up Robertson to be used a little more liberally in the seventh and eighth rather than be married to one specific inning late in the game. Soriano will make you sweat a bit but that’s unavoidable, he’s done the job these last few weeks and actually looks comfortable for the first time in pinstripes.
- David Robertson (oblique) threw a bullpen session today and everything went well. He’ll presumably throw a few more bullpens before appearing in a minor league rehab game or three.
- Brett Gardner (elbow) hit in the batting cage today. Girardi said yesterday that he could return as soon as next weekend. Gardner still needs to take batting practice on the field and get a few minor league rehab games in.
- Joba Chamberlain (elbow and ankle) threw off a half-mound today, your holy cow moment of the afternoon. We’re not even three full months out from his ankle injury, so this is pretty amazing. He still has a long way to go though, remember Joba’s coming back from a rather significant elbow procedure. Still, great news.
- David Aardsma (elbow) threw 20 fastballs in a live batting practice session today, his first time facing hitters since having Tommy John surgery last summer.
Got a few updates on the walking wounded down in Florida…
- Brett Gardner took some dry swings in Tampa yesterday and didn’t report any problems with his strained right elbow. Soon enough he’ll hit in the cage, then in batting practice, then in minor league rehab games. Joe Girardi said he’s at least ten days away from rejoining the team. [George King]
- David Aardsma is going to face hitters this Friday for the first time in over a year. He had hip surgery then Tommy John surgery last season. Aardsma threw breaking balls for the first time as part of his rehab just two weeks ago, so it’s pretty surprising to see him on track to face hitters so soon. Usually guys will throw breaking balls on the side for a few weeks before taking another step forward in their rehab. [Aardsma on Twitter]
- As I mentioned earlier this morning, David Robertson played catch in Tampa yesterday and reported no problems with his left oblique strain. He’ll do the same again today and hopefully be able to get back up on the mound later this week. Robertson’s going to need some minor league rehab appearances before returning to the bullpen, so his return is not imminent. [Chad Jennings]
- David Robertson (left oblique strain) played catch on Thursday and felt fine yesterday. He’s on a throwing program and will play catch again on Monday, though Brian Cashman confirmed that the right-hander will need some minor league rehab appearances and won’t be back before the end of the current road trip.
- Brett Gardner is still on track to swing a bat on Monday for the first time since his setback. An MRI earlier this week showed that the muscle in his right elbow has healed, but a few days ago he was still experiencing some stiffness.
- Mark Teixeira‘s cough is finally starting to subside and it’s part of the reason he got thrown out at third trying to stretch a double into a triple last night. He wouldn’t even have attempted it a few weeks ago because he had trouble breathing.
- Pat Venditte has a torn labrum in his right shoulder according to Steven Pivovar. He is currently rehabbing in Tampa and hopes to avoid surgery, but they’ll know if that’s possible in about two weeks. The ambidextrous Venditte had been pitching exclusively left-handed for a few weeks before hitting the DL.
Via Dan Barbarisi, right-hander David Robertson will spend more than 15 days on the DL according to Joe Girardi. A left oblique strain put Robertson on the shelf a week ago and he’s eligible to be activated this weekend. Just yesterday we heard that he still had some pain and was a few days off from picking up a ball. Obliques are tricky, so count on the Yankees approaching this conservatively.
- Brett Gardner (right elbow strain) will be re-evaluated today and if all goes well, he could pick up a bat as soon as tomorrow. “It feels close,” said Gardner, who suffered the setback ten days ago. “There’s no way to tell until I swing.”
- David Robertson (left oblique strain) still has some pain in his side and hasn’t performed any baseball activities since being placed on the DL five days ago. The plan called for him to be shut him down for 7-10 days anyway, so he’s not behind schedule or anything.
Update: Err, scratch that Gardner note. He has not yet seen the doctor today but Joe Girardi said he won’t pick up a bat until Thursday at the earliest. That will be exactly two weeks after he suffered the setback. They’re playing it safe, it seems.
Update Part Deux: Gardner went to the doctor today and will have an MRI in two or three days just to make sure everything’s okay. He’s headed to Tampa later in the week and will start swinging a bat soon thereafter if this latest round of tests comes back clean.
Meanwhile, Derek Jeter took a hot shot ground ball off his left wrist in the ninth inning this afternoon and was in obvious discomfort, but he downplayed the injury and is expected to play tomorrow.
Five questions and four answers this week, and I tried to keep it short but mostly failed. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar if you want to send us anything, mailbag questions or otherwise.
Shaun asks: Do you guys think David Robertson will automatically get the closer’s job when he returns? I hope Rafael Soriano flourishes in the role he is most comfortable and we can have Robertson back to Houdini!
That’s exactly what I hope happens. I want Soriano to pitch well regardless of inning, but I hope he really takes to the closer role and dominates so they can use Robertson a little more liberally in the seventh and eighth innings. The Yankees did bump Soriano back to the seventh inning following his DL stint last season because Robertson was dominant, so I hope history kinda sorta repeats itself.
Jay asks: What team has a need for 2nd base? I would think Eduardo Nunez could start on a lot of teams and contribute; just as the Yankees are thinking, putting him in one position could help his defense.
Middle infielders around baseball are just awful these days, so I’m sure a number of clubs would have interest in Nunez as an everyday guy despite his complete lack of defensive value. I know I’d rather take a chance on him than sign someone like the recently released Orlando Hudson.
Nunez has a 95 wRC+ in 450 career big league plate appearances, so he’s fallen just short of league average offensive production. His career Triple-A performance is similar and that’s basically the guy you’re going to get. Nunez will hit for a average but not power, make a ton of contact, and steal a bunch of bases. That’s what most middle infielders do, though at least he offers a chance at improvement at 25 years old. He’s still two years why of his peak, in theory.
The problem with trading Nunez right now is that his value is way down. The Yankees had to send him down because his defense was unplayable and that dropped his stock. We know other clubs — specifically the Mariners and Braves — have had interest in him in the past and I’m sure they’ve love to buy low now. Unless we’re talking about a multi-player package to acquire a star-caliber player, the Yankees are probably better off holding on to Nunez rather than take whatever uninteresting prospects clubs offer in a trade.
Tim asks: Chances or what do you think of the inconsistent Ivan Nova being sent down and Banuelos put in the NYY rotation in his place?
Jeff asks: Is it insane to think that Manny Banuelos can pitch his way into the big league rotation sometime this year?
Gonna lump these two together and will start with the Banuelos part. Yes, I think he could pitch his way into the rotation later this season. I thought there was a chance he would do it last year, but then he had to pull a Dellin Betances impression with the walk rate. Banuelos’ performance has been very encouraging following his return from the lat injury — 15 strikeouts an zero walks in 14.2 IP — but he’s not out of the woods yet. Three starts don’t erase the last year’s worth of command problems. He’s got to continue to show improvement and if he keeps looking like the Banuelos of old (meaning 2008-2010), then I could definitely see him cracking the rotation in the second half.
As for Nova, I also think there’s a chance he could be sent down at some point. Heck, they send him down for less last summer. Obviously this right foot and ankle injury complicates things a bit, but he had a very obvious problem leaving pitches up and thus getting hammered for extra-base hits before the injury. Nova leads the league extra-base hits allowed (32) and has allowed eleven (!) more than any other pitcher who’s made no more than seven starts. Hopefully he shakes off the ankle problem and starts getting pitches down, but if he doesn’t improve and we’re in the middle of June or something, an assignment to Triple-A has to be a consideration. If Banuelos happens to keep pitching well and shows improved command, he’d be the obvious candidate to take Nova’s spot.
Shai asks: Why are good lefty starters worth more than good righty starters? Aren’t there more (good) righty hitters in baseball? I understand the value of a LOOGY but shouldn’t righty starters be worth more?
It’s just a supply and demand thing. There’s roughly a 75-25 split between righties and lefties around the league these days (both starters and reliever), so there are just fewer quality left-handers to be had. Lefties are an even higher prior for the Yankees than other teams because of the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium. That’s really all there is to it. There are fewer great lefties around than great righties, so the southpaws are more valuable. Same reason great shortstops are more valuable than great first baseman.
4:04pm: It’s official, Robertson has been placed on the DL with a strained left oblique. That bites. He’s not going to pick up a ball for 7-10 days.
12:30pm: Via Bryan Hoch, setup man/temporary closer David Robertson underwent an MRI this morning and the team is still awaiting results on his injured ribcage. Hopefully we get some news when Joe Girardi speaks to the media prior to tonight’s game. The test was performed in New York, so Robertson is not with the team at the moment. Baltimore’s not exactly a long trip, however.
The Yankees won last night’s game against the Orioles but lost four players to injury in the process. Clay Rapada‘s viral infection isn’t the end of the world and even if he needs time on DL, the recently claimed Justin Thomas can take his place as the second lefty rather easily. Raul Ibanez has a nice little mark on his right elbow after getting hit by a pitch, but he said he’ll probably be able to play today. With the left-handed Wei-Yin Chen on the bump for Baltimore, Ibanez figures to get the day off anyway.
The injuries to Ivan Nova and David Robertson are potentially much more significant. Nova took a comebacker off his right ankle/foot in the third inning and apparently did more damage fielding a ground ball in the sixth, suffering a contusion and sprain of that right ankle and foot. It’s unclear if he’ll have to miss a start at the moment, but I assume David Phelps will shift back into the rotation if Nova can’t give it a go in five days. That can be problematic because it will shorten the pitching staff, which is already without Mariano Rivera and will likely lose Robertson as well.
The setup man turned closer suffered some kind of rib cage injury during his last appearance on Friday and it lingered through the weekend. Robertson is headed for tests today and almost any kind of oblique issue would result in a DL stint. Those can be very tricky and it’s easy to turn a minor oblique/ribcage injury into a major one if it isn’t given enough time the heal. With Mo already on the shelf, the Yankees can ill afford to lose Robertson for any length of time.
This recent rash of injuries combined with losing Mo and Michael Pineda for the season is really going to test the team’s depth. Phelps is a fine fill-in starter and the trio of Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, and Cory Wade is fully capable of late-inning relief work, but there would still be two pitching spots to fill. Cody Eppley is a logical call-up candidate but is nothing more than a right-handed specialist. D.J. Mitchell could pitch multiple innings and could even spot start for Nova if the Yankees want to keep Phelps in a leveraged bullpen role. Manny Delcarmen is a non-40-man roster bullpen candidate, but I don’t think anyone is clamoring for him.
Obviously losing the starter in Nova is more significant, but the Yankees will have a tougher time replacing a late-inning arm in Robertson. Phelps, Mitchell, and even Adam Warren can spot start with no problem if needed, but it’ll take some time to find a trusted end-game reliever. It’s silly but it’s true, late-inning relievers are in their own little world. The Yankees can always scour the waiver wire and dabble in the trade market if internal solutions are not found and Robertson’s injury is anything that will require more than like, two weeks on the shelf. I really hope it doesn’t come to that.
Assuming tonight’s game doesn’t get rained out, the Yankees will have CC Sabathia on the mound and yet again, they’re going to need innings from their ace. The bullpen, specifically the middle relief guys like Logan and Wade, have been worked hard these last few games and could really use the night off. I mean no warming up, no nothing. Robertson’s probable unavailability will compound the problem, ditto the chance that Phelps will be needed to start for Nova in five days. Every team deals with injuries, but the sheer volume of injuries in such a short amount of time is going to put the club’s pitching depth to work.