Joba’s ‘new arm’; Aardsma’s recovery

Adam Berry here, pinch-hitting for Bryan Hoch in Tampa, Fla.

After becoming a self-described “half-mound All-Star,” Joba Chamberlain moved on to a full mound early this morning, throwing 10 pitches off flat ground and 16 more off the mound.

Chamberlain acknowledged that his return is still a long way away but said everything felt great. Among the highlights of his talk with reporters, in which he discussed his bullpen session and his recovery from Tommy John surgery last June:

-Asked if he felt like he had a whole new arm, he responded, “Yeah, it really is in the whole realm of things. They fixed what was there, and then Dr. Andrews went ahead and added some extra strength to it. It’s a new arm for me. That’s how I feel. It’s a new year and a whole new chapter of what I would like to accomplish here to help this team.”

-Chamberlain initially said “it’s not going to be three or four months” before he’s back in a Major League game, but he backed off that statement a bit, knowing that timeframe accounts for any setbacks that may occur during his rehab.

“Is it realistic? Yes, but also all the other times, do you err on the side of caution and say three or four months? Yeah, because if something does happen, you’ve planned for that and understand that it can’t go perfect every time,” he said. “You have to put that in the back of your mind that there could be something that comes up, but you prepare to be done before that.”

-Later, when asked if he’d allowed himself to think about when he could be back if everything goes perfectly, Chamberlain said he would “do a Mo.”

“I know the answer, but I’m not going to tell you guys. Yeah, I have it in mind,” he said. “I know the work I’ve put in, and like I said, three or four months can be realistic. But also on the other hand, it can be realistic on the front side of things.

David Aardsma was also in the clubhouse this morning, and he spoke about joining the Yankees as well as his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He said the Yankees were the most aggressive team pursuing him, and the only one willing to sign him this early in the spring. He tries to avoid asking about the specific goals of his rehab process, but he’s been throwing from 90 feet for about five minutes and said his arm has been feeling good.

He’s been eyeing the All-Star Break as an ideal return time, and that would be almost exactly a year after his surgery, but he’s mostly focusing on getting healthy.

“I’m eager to let loose. I’m eager to get out there and pitch, but I understand the time aspect,” Aardsma said. “I understand that you need to take your time because if you push too hard and push yourself too much, a lot of guys end up doing it again. I understand that whole side, and we’ve got time. We’ve got a bullpen here that can handle themselves, so it’s not like I need to get back as soon as I can.”

We’ll have more from Yankees camp later in the day.

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