New York Yankees: Pedro Feliciano Could Pitch for Bombers in September
It seemed like a great move at the time, signing the then-34-year-old to a two-year, $8 million deal with an option for 2013.
Unfortunately, Feliciano got shut down in spring training before ever throwing a pitch in the regular season for the Yankees in 2011.
Later on, it was found out that Feliciano had a torn capsule and rotator cuff, which required surgery and not only forced Feliciano out for the 2011 season, but so far, he has missed most of the 2012 season too.
When the 2012 campaign began, many felt that Feliciano would not pitch for the Yankees.
However, according to Erik Boland of Newsday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Feliciano may in fact be able to pitch for the Yankees come September when the rosters expand to 40 players.
Casham told Boland that Feliciano has been throwing batting practice down in Tampa at the Yankees spring training complex and might be able to start a minor league rehab stint very soon.
However, the Yankees GM was being cautious, citing Brett Gardner's elbow issues in 2012 as a reference for not getting too excited on rehab stints because when Gardner got to the minor league games, that's when he experienced discomfort in his elbow.
Before signing with the Yankees, Feliciano was a very good reliever with the Mets, leading the league in appearances by a reliever for three straight years. The Yankees front office felt the Mets overused and overworked Feliciano, which is why he's had so many problems.
Feliciano, who will turn 36 at the end of August, "has looked really damn good and has worked his butt off," according to teammate Joba Chamberlain, who worked out with Feliciano when he was in Tampa this past month.
Chamberlain thinks that Feliciano will be back in the majors pitching with the Yankees come September.
If in fact everything goes well with the rehab and minor league stints, getting Feliciano back in pinstripes pitching in live games will be a major boost to the bullpen.
Right now, Boone Logan and Clay Rapada have been the lone lefties who have done a good job in 2012 for the Yankees, but Joe Girardi doesn't want to overuse them in every single game.
If Feliciano can come back and pitch well, not only will it be a lift to the Yankees bullpen, but it could give Girardi another option if the Yankees make the playoffs.
Feliciano could be called upon to get guys like Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn or Josh Hamilton out if needed in a lefty-versus-lefty situation.
Who knows, maybe Feliciano could end up being like Damaso Marte in the 2009 World Series for the Yankees.
Only time will tell if Feliciano's arm will hold up for the Yankees.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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