David Aardsma cleared to pitch in rehab games


It’s easily forgotten by now, but the Yankees signed right-handed reliever David Aardsma to a one-year, $500,000 free agent contract back in late February.

And they might actually get something out of the deal before the regular season schedule ends.

Erik Boland of Newsday in New York reports that Aardsma is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday evening with High-A Tampa. He will be joined there by Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is on his way back from a fractured hand.

Aardsma hasn’t pitched in the majors since the 2010 season because of hip and elbow injuries. The 30-year-old has a 4.20 career ERA and a 1.43 career WHIP. He saved 38 games for the Mariners in 2009.

Bob Uecker is basically indestructible

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Tom Haurdicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a story about beloved Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker’s frighteningly eventful offseason that’s definitely worth a read.

The frightening part: Uecker got bit by a brown recluse spider last October. He didn’t realize it at first and happened to show the bite to a doctor a couple of days later. The doctor realized how serious it was — brown recluses can kill people — and Uecker was rushed off to surgery. He’s fine now, back in the Brewers booth and actually joking about the spider bite.

The incident, though, leads Haudricourt to chronicle all of Uecker’s health issues over the years and the list is fairly amazing. I mean, we’ve written about some of his more recent health issues on this site, but I was unaware of just how many potentially fatal ailments Uecker has dealt with and beat in the past 25-30 years or so. Not that he’s too fazed by it all:

“I know I’m lucky. I’ve had 11 major surgeries overall. But, through all of that stuff, I made some unbelievable friends. All those doctors at Froedtert [Hospital]. We’re all friends now. So, a lot of good came out of it.”

That’s quite the perspective.

Uecker is 84. Counting his playing career he’s entering his 63rd year in baseball. He’s still one of the best, if not the best, broadcasters going. Thank goodness he wasn’t stopped by a spider of all things. Here’s hoping he keeps going for many more years to come.