Obsession with players not on active roster
The media seems to be paying an inordinate amount of time these days asking questions about players who are not on the Yankees’ 25-man roster. Every day, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi field questions about Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain.
Injury updates are part of the business, of course. Checking in on CC Sabathia while he was on the 15-day disabled list made sense, but the other guys are not close, so what is all the attention being focused on them?
Rivera went on the radio the other day and said it was his goal to pitch again this season. This is news? Mo told that to everybody he talked to when he attended Old Timers’ Day nine days ago. The likelihood of that is another story. He is still rehabilitating his right knee from surgery and is not anywhere near ready to start throwing again.
Girardi tried to sound optimistic, but as manager he has to be realistic, too. He pointed out that Rivera usually makes eight to 10 appearances during spring training to be ready for the regular season and that he would need to do something similar before returning. Once September rolls around, Girardi reminded, most minor-league seasons are over, so where would Mo go?
Chamberlain has started throwing off a mound, which is encouraging, and there is a good chance that he will be back before season’s end, but, again, it is not as if it will be a matter of days. As for Gardner, he keeps coming up sore after the day after simulated games. Girardi was asked if come September Gardner could be used as a pinch runner or defensive replacement since the outfielder’s problems stem from throwing. Girardi acknowledged that was possible, but does anyone expect a player so limited to be part of a post-season roster? Besides, surgery remains a possible option for Gardner, the sooner the better if it proves necessary.
Reporters keep asking Pettitte about how quickly he can return as if they have forgotten he has a broken leg, a 40-year-old one at that. The timetable is still the same for Pettitte, who should be back sometime around Labor Day if all goes well.
Despite all these injuries, the Yankees have opened a large lead in the American League East. In the time Sabathia spent on the DL, the Yanks jumped 6 ½ games in the standings. What does all this mean? Not much, except leave us let nature take its course.