David Aardsma hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since September 19, 2010. But that could change in the next few days.
After spending the past 14 months rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Aardsma told Erik Boland of the New York Daily News this afternoon that he expects to be activated by the Yankees tomorrow.
Aardsma posted a 2.90 ERA while saving 69 games in 78 chances for the Mariners between 2009-2010, but he began last season on the disabled list following hip surgery and eventually required Tommy John surgery in July. The 30-year-old right-hander was then non-tendered by the Mariners before signing a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Yankees in February. He was originally aiming to return around mid-season, but his timetable was pushed back a bit following a setback in June.
The Yankees are in the middle of a pennant race, so it’s highly unlikely that Aardsma will get more than a couple of appearances in lower-leverage situations, but he could show enough for the club to pick up his option for 2013.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.
Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.
Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.
This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.
As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.