Alex Rodriguez, Pedro Feliciano and David Aardsma Set for Rehab Games on Friday
The New York Yankees aren't exactly playing up to their standards as the calendar rolls into September, but a trio of banged-up veterans could be available very soon if their rehabs go as planned.
With Alex Rodriguez, Pedro Feliciano and David Aardsma set for rehab games on Friday, there's a realistic chance that they could all return within the next two weeks or so.
Rodriguez will open up on Friday as the team's designated hitter, with plans for him to start on Saturday at third base if he doesn't aggravate the fractured left hand that has kept him out of game action for over a month.
While Eric Chavez has performed admirably in his stead—.293 AVG, .350 OBP, .507 SLG with 13 home runs and 32 RBI on the season—Rodriguez's presence in the lineup makes quite the difference.
With the Yankees' incapability of plating runners in scoring position, Rodriguez's approach at the plate really helps. He is no longer the power hitter that he once was, making his ability to drive in runs via the single or the double that much more valuable.
Aardsma, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, is ready to begin his second comeback attempt of the season on Friday night. His first attempt came back in June, but after three appearances he was shut down with elbow soreness.
As the closer for the Seattle Mariners from 2009-2010, Aardsma saved 69 games. His ability to pitch in clutch situations could be a huge boost for the Yankees bullpen. His fresh arm could be just what manager Joe Girardi has been looking for.
Feliciano also hasn't pitched since 2010, and he appears ready to begin his comeback to the majors with the Staten Island Yankees.
His rehab began on August 10, and he has since made seven appearances spanned across the lower levels of the Yankees' minor league system.
He's been pretty effective in his seven appearances, allowing just two runs over 6.1 innings pitched. The 36-year-old's rehab clock is set to expire on September 9, making it reasonable to believe that he'll be activated prior to that date.
With two fresh bullpen arms and a productive hitter set to come back from injuries within the next few weeks, the Yankees could be gearing up for a resurgence of sorts. They still lead the AL East by three full games, but there's no doubt that they will look to lengthen that lead as playoff time approaches.
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