Yankees Kaprielian Pitches In 5-6 Days: What’s Going On Here?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees have apparently confirmed a reversal of fortune for two Baby Bombers. James Kaprielian will pitch in 5-6 days, and Aaron Judge (Part One) no longer has the job in right field. Here’s Kaprielian’s story:

The Yankees, according to a report in Newsday, have reversed themselves completely and will allow James Kaprielian to pitch in an exhibition game as soon as this week.

The piece Newsday explains that:

"After the 23-year-old’s second simulated game, a three-inning outing Friday morning, Joe Girardi said plans have changed. “I think his next appearance is going to be in a game [in five or six days],” Girardi said."

So much, I guess, for Brian Cashman’s assessment a few days ago that Kaprielian would proceed through Spring Training at a “snail’s pace.”

Coupled with the report that the team is favoring starting Aaron Hicks over Aaron Judge on Opening Day, it’s beginning to look like the Yankees have a left-hand, right-hand problem and no one is steering the ship.

Recently, Yanks Go Yard reported on the fact that Kaprielian was like a  racehorse biting at the bit, forcing the Yankees to make him the last horse to enter the starting gate this spring.

More from Yanks Go Yard

Hardly anyone argued with the team’s decision to keep their prized stud in check until they were fully confident that Kaprielian is 100% healthy and fully recovered from a serious arm injury that shut him down in 2016.

New York Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey, even weighed in  with some fatherly advice to “take it slow.” This, coming from a pitcher whose career has become a trainwreck with an assortment of injuries, seemed to be accepted by Kaprielian, who became buddies with Harvey over the winter while rehabbing at facilities provided by their agent, Steve Boras.

But apparently, the organization didn’t get that memo and are doing a one-eighty and will have Kaprielian appear in a game in 5-6 days.

The Yankees Are Playing With Fire

Here’s the rub, though. Pitchers, and especially someone like Kaprielian, are a highly competitive breed. And when you put a major league hitter in the batter’s box, everything changes.

The Yankees can tell Kaprielian to “take it slow,” and to not “force anything,” and “don’t look at the scoreboard” checking your pitch speed. But that all goes out the window when a young man like Kaprielian steps on the rubber to pitch in a game.

Unlike the Mets, who have a spotty record when dealing with player’s injuries, the Yankees have always taken a conservative approach by recognizing that there are a whole lot more tomorrow’s than today’s.

This decision seems to fly in the face of that logic, and we can only hold our breath in hoping that Kaprielian will attempt to harness himself when he gets on the mound.

And once again, all he needs to do is look across town to see what Zach Wheeler has been going through with several setbacks during his recovery from Tommy John.

Sometimes, though, you just can’t leave well enough alone.