LOS ANGELES -- Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland is scheduled to return from his extended leave of absence on Tuesday, and his staff of hurlers will be elated to have his input once again. Manager Joe Girardi said Sunday that he anticipates having Eiland in the dugout for the opener of a three-game series against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, the first contests Eiland has worked since leaving the Yankees on June 4. "There was a time period that things had to be worked out," Girardi said. "Dave was going through some personal things. He's ready and he's coming back."
Girardi would not elaborate on the reason for Eiland's absence, but said that he does not anticipate Eiland will have to leave the team again this year. While Eiland was away, Girardi said that he did keep up with the team. "I think you'd have to put somebody on a deserted island with no TV or papers, if you're a baseball guy, to not have an idea of what's going on," Girardi said. "As much as he was taking care of the stuff he needed to take care of, he was aware." Eiland will have an immediate challenge upon getting back to work. His return coincides just as one of his pitchers, A.J. Burnett, completed the worst month of his Major League career, going 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA in five starts. While Burnett accepted responsibility for his struggles, he also acknowledged missing Eiland's input. "Dave has certain little key words that he can tell you to get you back on track when your delivery is a little off," said Yankees ace CC Sabathia. "He's good at finding flaws, but I think he's really good at communicating, too. That's hard for a lot of coaches to do. It's going to be good to have him back." In Eiland's absence, bullpen coach Mike Harkey served as the interim pitching coach, with Class A Staten Island manager Josh Paul and head video coordinator Charlie Wonsowicz helping out in the bullpen. "All of us had to step up, but it's good to be whole again," Girardi said. "I said all along that we were going to miss him, but I thought we did a good job of weathering the storm."