Aardsma two weeks away from starting to throw
As pitchers and catchers reported to Mariners Spring Training on Sunday, one of the biggest questions revolved around closer David Aardsma as he rehabs from offseason hip surgery.
Leaning on what he called wrist-level “Tucker crutches” after the character frrom “There’s Something About Mary,” Aardsma said he’s about two weeks from being able to put weight on his recovering left hip.
At that point, he’ll begin light throwing and then be ready to “really get after it” in another two weeks with more strenuous throwing.
But the 29-year-old veteran says he’s not going to push his return too fast and acknowledged he might not be ready at all in the first month of the regular season as he recovers from the labrum surgery.
“I’d like to be, but I want to make sure I’m healthy the rest of my career rather than get a couple outings under my belt in April,” he said. “I need to play this right because I want to be here a long time.”
Aardsma believes the Mariners bullpen is in good hands.
“We have strong competition for these spots and it’s going to be interesting to watch,” he said. “I’ve played with a lot of these guys and known a lot of these guys for a long time.
“I played with Charlie Haeger. I played with Manny Delcarmen, Chris Smith. It’s actually kind of crazy. In Boston, our bullpen at one time we had David Pauley, Chris Smith, Manny Delcarmen and me out of seven guys. It’s like, alright, bring us all back together.”
Aardsma likes the collection of pitching talent accumulated by GM Jack Zduriencik over the offseason, even without any big free-agent signings.
“Chris Ray was lights out when he was healthy with Baltimore,” he said. “[Nate] Robertson, these guys have had success. It’s amazing they’ve brought all these guys in on Minor League deals. It’s like, dang, how did they pull all that off?”
But the Mariners would also like to get Aardsma into that mix. He’ll join the fray as soon as he can, but it appears it will be at least a month before he begins throwing hard and probably two full months before he’s even close to thinking about returning.