Bruney coming back, Wang a possibility
Reliever feeling confident after final Triple-A start
NEW YORK -- The Yankees plan to make at least one move to bolster their pitching staff before Tuesday's game, welcoming Brian Bruney back to the relief mix, and they will consider activating Chien-Ming Wang as well.
Manager Joe Girardi said that the club will have Wang throw a bullpen session at Yankee Stadium, looking for indications that his command of his sinker is better than it appeared on Sunday in a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"We have not decided one way or another what we're going to do," Girardi said. "We want to take a look at him and talk to him, and then we'll make a decision."
On the disabled list with weakness in the abductor muscles of both hips, Wang has thrown 13 scoreless innings at Triple-A, including seven in a 3-0 victory over Columbus. Girardi said that Wang's velocity on Sunday was clocked between 88 mph and 92 mph, which could be acceptable.
"The velocity is not as important to me as the consistency and the movement of his sinker," Girardi said. "To me, last year's sinker had a lot of bite, and he had command of it. That's the important thing to me, the command and the bite."
Bruney started Game 2 of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's doubleheader and threw 17 pitches in the first inning, allowing one run on two hits while striking out one. He said that he may not be as sharp as he was when he hit the disabled list in April, but he feels ready to record big league outs.
"I think just throwing was big for me, being able to face hitters and throw pitches where I want them," Bruney said. "That's the most important part about pitching. I missed a few, but I'm pretty confident that I feel good, and I should be right back to where I was."
Girardi expects Bruney to fill a vital role in the bullpen sequence immediately.
"He was our eighth-inning guy before he got hurt, and then we kind of had to go by matchups," Girardi said. "It affected us a little bit. I think it's important to get him back."
Bruney was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his pitching elbow, and he attributes the injury to the game at Yankee Stadium on April 19, when a Jorge Posada home run was reviewed on instant replay by umpires.
The original call on the field stood, with Posada credited with a two-run dinger off Cleveland's Jensen Lewis, but the review took 8 1/2 minutes to complete, and Bruney continued throwing throughout the delay.
"I turned around to see the replay, and it was obvious to me by the first replay that it was a home run -- which is what they called it anyway," he said. "I don't know what the 8 1/2 minutes was all about."
Bruney appeared two days later on April 21, but he felt weak, allowing a run on two hits to the A's, and was subsequently placed on the disabled list. He lodged a complaint with the MLB Players Association about the delay, and was told the play was reviewed in the command center of MLB's New York offices.
"Something went wrong," Bruney said. "That's a long time for any pitcher to be throwing. That's a long inning, plus another long inning. But I'm back."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.