TAMPA, Fla. -- It's official: Clay Rapada, who made an important contribution last year as the Yankees' second lefty out of the bullpen, will start the season on the disabled list, having fallen too far behind after losing a couple of weeks to bursitis in his pitching shoulder.
Manager Joe Girardi was typically vague when asked about Rapada, whom he refers to as "The Rapper" this morning, but GM Brian Cashman left no doubt. "He's on the DL," Cashman said. "He's not on the DL officially yet, but in terms of a time frame, he’s going to need a little bit of April. So, he won’t be ready, but he’ll be ready pretty quickly."
Rapada, who threw 15 fastballs off the mound this morning, seemed resigned to his fate even before Cashman revealed it.
"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," he 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 said he would need about two more weeks to get ready.