The Yankees began to put the finishing touches on their Opening Day roster yesterday by choosing Shawn Kelley for a bullpen spot over David Aardsma, who was designated for assignment.
According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Aardsma “didn’t really fit” with the team’s bullpen, as they wanted someone who could provide multiple innings at a time. Kelley threw more than one inning in 12 of his 47 appearances with the Mariners last season.
Aardsma has only pitched in one game in the majors over the past two seasons following a hip injury and Tommy John surgery, but he had a 3.52 ERA and 7/2 K/BB ratio over 7 2/3 innings this spring and finally appears to be healthy. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 69 saves with the Mariners from 2009-2010, so someone figures to take a chance on him. He’s set to make $500,000 in 2013.
It’s already been established that the Blue Jays would throw deadline acquisition David Price in Game 1 of their ALDS matchup against the Rangers and fast-rising right-hander Marcus Stroman in Game 2.
Now we know how they’ll fill out the rest of their rotation for the best-of-five round …
John Lott of the National Post notes that R.A. Dickey threw a simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre, which lines him up for a potential ALDS Game 4 next Monday in Texas. Marco Estrada will take Game 3 on Sunday night in Arlington.
Mark Buehrle retired after his final regular-season start, so he’s obviously out of the mix.
Toronto is the World Series favorite to many as the postseason gets underway.
Yasiel Puig appeared in just 79 games during the regular season and missed all of September with a right hamstring strain. He returned on October 3 and appeared in the Dodgers’ final two regular-season games, but that doesn’t mean he is anywhere close to 100 percent heading into the NLDS.
Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles says the Dodgers are unlikely to start Puig over Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford against right-handers in the best-of-five Division Series. And the Mets are scheduled to throw three righties in the first three games: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey. The only left-hander in the Mets’ postseason rotation is Steven Matz, and he is somewhat questionable with a back injury.
Would it make sense to leave Puig off the NLDS roster entirely? If he does aggravate the hamstring injury, which seems possible even in a limited role, that would put him out of the mix for the NLCS.
They could send Puig to Arizona and have him face live pitching for the next 8-10 days.
But that’s just a suggestion. It doesn’t sound like it’s actually a consideration.