New York Yankees: Pedro Feliciano Closer to Bronx with Solid Outing in Minors

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New York Yankees: Pedro Feliciano Closer to Bronx with Solid Outing in Minors
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

While the New York Yankees battled the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx, Pedro Feliciano took another step toward getting back to professional baseball.

Feliciano was moved up to Double-A for the Trenton Thunder and pitched against the New Britain Rock Cats.

Feliciano came in to pitch in the top of the sixth inning and had a solid outing—striking out two and walking one in an inning of work.

Feliciano threw 17 pitches; nine of them were for strikes, but in the end, he still didn't allow a run and struck out two batters.

The 36-year-old left-hander signed a two-year, $8 million deal before the 2011 season, but Feliciano has yet to take the mound for the Yankees while he recovers from a torn capsule in his shoulder.

The team does have an option on Feliciano for 2013, and how Feliciano pitches in September and maybe even October could determine if the Yankees exercise that option.

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Before the injury, Feliciano was a solid and durable reliever with the New York Mets and was very good at getting left-handed batters out—a big reason why the Yankees brought him in.

However, the Yankees felt that the Mets abused Feliciano to the point where he has been out of baseball for almost two years now.

With September call-ups coming on Saturday, there's a very good chance that if everything goes well and Feliciano continues to pitch well and doesn't suffer any injury setbacks, he'll finally make his long-awaited debut for the Bombers. According to Bryan Hoch and Steven Miller of MLB.com, manager Joe Girardi said:

I think Pedro's [promotion] depends on how he's doing. If he can help us, I'm sure we'll bring Pedro Feliciano up. They may not feel he's quite ready yet. That's a decision they'll have to make from seeing him, because we won't have a chance to see him.

With Mariano Rivera lost for the 2012 season and Joba Chamberlain struggling since his return to the majors, adding Feliciano could be a big spark to the bullpen in September.

The Yankees already have Boone Logan and Clay Rapada as the lefties out of the bullpen, but Feliciano could end up being a difference maker for the Yankees.

In fact, I would not be the least bit shocked if he turned out to be like Damaso Marte was back in the 2009 playoffs and, more importantly, the 2009 World Series.

That scenario is still a long way away, but on Monday night, Feliciano took a giant step forward to getting himself ready for the Yankees.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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