Return near, Aardsma eager to help Yankees

Return near, Aardsma eager to help Yankees

Return near, Aardsma eager to help Yankees
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-handed reliever David Aardsma is closing in on his return to Major League action.

Aardsma, with the Yankees on Monday for their series opener against the Twins, is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's contest.

The 30-year-old Aardsma hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. He underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in July 2011 and was signed to a one-year, $500,000 contract by the Yankees in February.

New York also owns a club option for 2013.

"When I first got hurt in 2010, it was devastating," Aardsma said. "I didn't know how to take it. It was the first time I'd really been hurt. Trying to come back, I was having little setbacks, other injuries happen.

"It's an amazing feeling to be back in here and knowing that very soon I'll be back on a mound again."

Aardsma recorded 31 saves for the Mariners in 2010, a year after he notched 38 while posting a 2.52 ERA. He owns a 4.20 career ERA in six seasons spent with the Giants, Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox and Mariners.

Aardsma appeared in rehab games in the Rookie League as well as for Class A Advanced Tampa and short-season Class A Staten Island, going 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA over 6 2/3 innings (five games).

"I haven't faced a big league hitter in two years," Aardsma said. "But It's a matter of, I know my stuff's been good [in rehab games]. It's obviously not the same caliber. Now it's a matter of just coming out there and getting comfortable and facing hitters.

"Am I expecting to go out there and be put in the toughest situation ever? I don't think they would do that, but if they do, I'll be ready."