Joe Girardi finally threw Rafael Soriano into the fire last night. He waited a full week, pitching Soriano in two fairly meaningless situations before thrusting him into a one-run game at Fenway with first-place on the line.
“This guy’s used to this type of situation,” Girardi said. “… I did ease him in. That was the idea to get him ready as we went forward and we got in these type of games. I wanted to give him a couple of appearances. He got a couple of appearances, basically about the amount of appearances (counting rehab outings) he got in spring training, and I just felt he was ready to go.”
With Soriano ready to go, the Yankees bullpen is in place. Or, as Russell Martin put it, “We seem to have all the pieces of the puzzle.”
I wrote last night that this isn’t exactly the bullpen the Yankees envisioned, and it’s not, but there seems to be the same sort of comfort that the Yankees imagined. The emergence of Dave Robertson and the arrival of Cory Wade have really provided a boost to make up for the loss of Joba Chamberlain. Hector Noesi has become a reliable long man. Boone Logan has settled in as a lefty specialist. Now Soriano is back in the mix, and he looked good last night.
“I think you see the arm speed coming back and the location on the breaking ball,” Larry Rothschild said. “Tonight was a good night for him and this team, to see that.”
As for Soriano, he still doesn’t say much, but last night’s outing seemed to speak volumes.
“I feel much better every, every day,” Soriano said. “The way I pitched today reminded me of the way I pitched in Tampa when I was the closer… I think everybody knows when I signed here, how good the bullpen was going to be, and now you see the results.”
Associated Press photo