Results tagged ‘ Clay Rapada ’

Yankees’ Clay Rapada expected to begin year on disabled list

Clay RapadaYankees reliever Clay Rapada is likely to begin the season on the disabled list as he returns from left shoulder bursitis.

Rapada threw 15 fastballs from the mound on Friday, but said that he needs to be able to pitch effectively three or four days in a row to help the big league club. Rapada believes he is about a week or two behind and expects to be ready in April.

“I can be a small piece to the winning puzzle, but if I’m not fully recovered I don’t want to set back the team more,” Rapada said. “If I can’t go back to back days, I feel like I’d put a lot more strain. I don’t feel like I’m very far off, but I don’t expect it to be long.”

Rapada, 32, was 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 70 appearances for New York last season, spanning 38 1/3 innings. Rapada’s injury figures to improve the chances of right-handers Cody Eppley or Shawn Kelley making the Opening Day roster, and Girardi also said that left-hander Vidal Nuno could be a possibility.

Nova diagnosed with ankle contusion, sprain

Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova left tonight’s game with a contusion and sprain of his right ankle. X-rays were negative. We’ll have more information when possible, but this sounds like the kind of injury that could cost Nova at least his next start.

Additionally, left-hander Clay Rapada left tonight’s game with a viral infection, the Yankees said. Rapada was spotted by television cameras needing help to return to the clubhouse.

This could be Joe Girardi’s only decision

Clay Rapada held lefties to a .104 batting average last year with Baltimore (5-for-48), but righties smoked him at a .692 clip (9-for-13).

With Eric Chavez now taking the backup corner infield spot, the truth is that unless someone gets hurt this spring — fearless prediction: someone will, eventually — most of Joe Girardi’s decisions seem to be pretty much locked in.

One area where that’s not the case is in the bullpen, as the Yankees will again ponder whether they need a second lefty behind Boone Logan. They were going to have Hideki Okajima competing for that job, but Okajima flunked his physical due to a shoulder issue and had his contract voided.

So the competition will have Clay Rapada, Cesar Cabral, Mike O’Connor and Juan Cedeno all trying to get noticed. Will any of them break camp with the team, or will the Yankees take another Luis Ayala-type (Manny Delcarmen, perhaps) as their final bullpen arm?

OK, I’ll admit that it’s not the sexiest debate the Yankees have ever had in Spring Training, and on top of that, it’s impossible to say for sure right now. But Girardi will think about it. Cabral and Rapada might be the most interesting options on paper, though Rapada really should only be used to face lefties.

“I think you could use it,” Girardi said. “You look at our guys in the late innings, you’re going to go to them and probably not worry about the second left-hander. I don’t think it’s a necessity, but if you find a lefty that can give you a little distance or you’re not afraid to use against right-handers, I think it’d be valuable.”

They did get through most of 2011 with Logan as the lone lefty, but Girardi said he could have used another choice.

“At times I think it would have been helpful, especially when [Rafael] Soriano was out or when Joba [Chamberlain] was out,” Girardi said. “I don’t think it’s a necessity because our right-handers get left-handers out.”

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