NEW YORK -- Even though it came after a loss, you could understand the sentiment expressed by left-handed reliever Royce Ring.
"I just texted my wife that I'm on cloud nine right now," Ring said Wednesday after appearing in his first Major League game in more than two years. "It's just a great feeling, and to do it with this organization is great."
Indeed, nine days ago, Ring was back in San Diego, taking his daughter to the doctor when he received an unexpected callup from general manager Brian Cashman. The 29-year-old had gone home after not initially being promoted following a terrific season for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, in which he went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA.
Ring made his Yankees debut on Wednesday, entering the game after a prolonged rain delay and working 1 2/3 hitless innings and striking out two. Ring did allow a run that scored after his departure.
"It was nice to get out there and try to throw strikes and get outs quickly," said Ring, who hadn't pitched since Sept. 9. "I was happy with the result."
Although it's unlikely Ring can do enough in the last week and a half to earn a spot on the postseason roster, it wouldn't be unprecedented. Just last season, the Yankees spent much of the season using Phil Coke as their only left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. But manager Joe Girardi decided to add the struggling Damaso Marte to the playoff roster, a move that paid off in the World Series.
"He got guys out from the left side at Triple-A all year," Cashman said. "You never know."
"I wouldn't count anything out at this time. We're still evaluating," Girardi said.