This isn't something to worry about in the sense that we worry about ARod losing his power or somebody being hurt trying to convince Derek Jeter not to be a full-time shortstop anymore. But this post is inspired by the news that Pedro Feliciano started throwing today. I have also recently read that Joba Chamberlain has done the same, as well as David Aardsma. Aardsma has commited the unforgivable offense of pushing Hank Aaron out of the first alphabetical listing in the Baseball Encyclopedia, but the Yankees apparently own his contract anyway.
Please jump without injuring yourselves.
Put aside Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda until 2013. They will both have spots on the roster. Assuming that Pettitte comes back, Kuroda would simply not be re-signed. If Pettitte does not come back, they could either bring back Kuroda or finally promote the winner of a Banuelos vs. Phelps death match.
Suppose Aardsma, Chamberlain, and Feliciano all became available before August 15th. What would happen to the bullpen? Cory Wade to the minors? What about Eppley and Rapada? They have actually pitched well recently. Anticipating the return of one or more of these arms, do the Yankees dump Garcia before the trade deadline? His mopping has actually been rather good lately- he just needs 10 days rest between appearances.
Some injured players seem to have a gift for staying injured, in the manner of Carl Pavano. This could easily be what happens with Joba Chamberlain or Pedro Feliciano. If it does, problem solved. My guess is that perhaps one of the three relievers will be ready in August, and that Eppley, who has done nothing wrong except be right- handed and low paid will pay a visit to Scranton until the September call-ups, even though Wade looks like a candidate for time off right now.
I really like Jason Nix and Dewayne Wise on the bench. I don't think Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez are going anywhere. When Brett Gardner comes back, God willing, in a month or so, I think Wise is headed back to the minors or becomes part of a trade-deadline package. Jason Nix can play more positions in mediocre fashion than Wise.
Right now the team is winning. If the return of veterans from the DL causes middle relievers and nice bench players to be cast off, I'm actually wondering whether this will be good for the team or not. Is a getting- up- to- speed Chamberlain or Aardsma better to have than the people doing the job now? I'm not so sure.