Joba Chamberlain could begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Tuesday, but his rehab could take a full month before he’ll be cleared to join the big league bullpen.
“You kind of expect he’s got to go through somewhat of a spring training,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s usually a good almost 30 days of games for people, because he has not went through any games yet, and he has not went through games for a while. I can’t tell you. Our needs could change and things could speed up, but he’s going to have to get some games under his belt.”
Chamberlain threw live batting practice today. He threw 25 pitches, essentially facing six hitters.
“It was nice to just be able to get into some counts,” Chamberlain told Newsday. “They hit one ball (hard) out of that whole thing. That’s a good sign for me, to just be able to attack the zone with all four pitches. I even threw a couple changeups. But really just focused on fastball command, in and out.”
Girardi said Chamberlain will throw a bullpen on Sunday, and the tentative plan is to have him begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, though Girardi wasn’t sure which level. Chamberlain told Newsday that the expects to make his first minor league outing in the Gulf Coast League.
• Three additional notes from the Newsday story out of Tampa: Austin Romine caught Chamberlain’s bullpen … David Aardsma is still waiting for Dr. Yocum to review his latest test results … Pedro Feliciano threw another bullpen today but said he still doesn’t know when he’ll face batters.
• David Phelps has been officially optioned to Trenton, where he’ll start on Monday. Girardi said the team hasn’t “talked about” whether Phelps will rejoin the big league roster after the all-star break, but it certainly sounds like Phelps is going to stay in the minors to stay stretched out. “He’s in a rotation and we’ll keep building him up and see where we’re at,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees have discussed their rotation for after the all-star break, but Girardi said he’s not yet ready to announce an order. He still expects CC Sabathia to be ready when the break ends.
• Brett Gardner took dry swings with a fungo bat today. “I think you just go day by day and hope that each step there’s not a setback,” Girardi said. “Each time we’ve gotten a little bit further, and hopefully this is the time it goes all the way through.”
• Darnell McDonald showed up with a fresh haircut today. Pretty standard for guys added to the Yankees roster. “I’m playing against my old team,” he said. “A lot of times that happens, when you get traded or released and get a chance to play against the team that released you. To be able to come to another historic franchise like the Yankees, it’s a dream come true for me.”
• Andruw Jones was helping McDonald figure out which of the shirts in his locker should be worn during batting practice. “I’m here and I just want to fit in,” McDonald said. “Same thing I was doing over there, man. Just come to the field, be ready when your name is called, work hard, have fun, all those type of things. I try to pride myself on just being ready.”
• Girardi said the Yankees are still planning to add Cory Wade as their 26th man tomorrow.
• The Red Sox put Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list today. Will Middlebrooks is once again out of the lineup.
Associated Press photos