Andy Pettitte claims to be ready to go after bare-handing a grounder in his last start. (Image: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)

Yankees News: Pettitte ready, Robertson is 'eighth-inning guy' again, Joba hopeful

The New York Yankees have suffered numerous injuries this season, but the good news is beginning to outweigh the bad. They have seemingly bypassed one injury which could have derailed the express train the team is riding now. They’re close to the return of a key end-game reliever and could have another potent arm ready to boost the bullpen long before anticipated.

Andy Pettitte feels 100% and will be ready to take the ball in the middle game of the upcoming first-place showdown against the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital. According to Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, Pettitte feels fine.

It feels fine — there were no problems out there today,” I’m good to go. I’ve never pitched in that ballpark, and I’m looking forward to it. – Pettitte on his pitching hand

 

Pettitte’s return from retirement has provided a spark for the starting pitchers and the team in general. The Yankees are 18-10 since the recently turned 40-year-old lefty came back.

Robertson is ‘eighth-inning guy’ once again

The last thing the Yankees need now is a controversary so manager Joe Girardi is doing his best to shut it down now. When David Robertson returns from the disabled list, he will be inserted into the role he held prior to Mariano Rivera‘s season ending injury, the eighth inning set-up man. He may even be used in situations prior to the eighth if Girardi feels it is necessary.

The notion of inserting Robertson into the closer role after Rafael Soriano has been so effective as the closer may seem ludicrous, but the New York media loves a story. Girardi and Robertson aren’t biting.

From Girardi:

We’re probably going to put Robbie in some situations in the eighth inning when he comes back, and then we’ll just go from there. Soriano has done a very good job — whatever we’ve asked him to do. We feel that they’re interchangeable. – Girardi on June 5th

 

Robertson is saying all the right things when asked of not being closer as he was before he was injured.

I’m not going to talk about that. I’m just here to pitch. I don’t really care what I do.

 

Thus ends the controversy until Soriano hits an inevitable rough patch which all closers, even Rivera, suffer from.

Chamberlain hopeful for 2012 return

When Joba Chamberlain suffered an open dislocation of his ankle while playing with his son on a trampoline, many figured it signaled the end of the season for the hard throwing righty. He was in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery as it was, so the ankle injury which could take long to heal on its own, was also going to impede on any progress he had made in the elbow rehabilitation process.

But, Chamberlain is a quick healer and if you ask him he’ll be ready to begin rehab assignment games in 2-3 three weeks. According to Roger Rubin, reporter for the New York Daily News, Chamberlain feels he is throwing hard, but the coaches are not allowing him to look at the readings on the speed guns.

If Chamberlain is indeed able to get back to the mound for the Yankees, he’ll deepen an already quality bullpen and could be a meaningful addition to the squad down the stretch. The Yankees have not offered a timetable for his return.

Later today

Please be sure to head back to the site later today to learn more about the Yankees second overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Austin Aune, who I interviewed recently along with his high school athletic director. This young man is ready to make a name for himself in the organization.

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Tags: David Robertson Joba Chamberlain Mariano Rivera New York Yankees Rafael Soriano Yankees

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