Posada returns to Yankees' roster
Veteran catcher likely to require surgery after season ends
NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada knows that something still isn't 100 percent in his right shoulder, and it's that lingering uncertainty that prompts him to believe he will require surgery at season's end.
For now, though, he believes he has enough to get the job done behind the plate for the Yankees. The 36-year-old was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday's game, rejoining New York's active roster for the first time since April 27.
"It feels like early in Spring Training, where there [were] no problems," Posada said. "I'm looking forward to getting started again."
Posada made his seventh and final extended spring training appearance on Tuesday in Clearwater, Fla., catching another six innings and throwing out both Phillies Minor Leaguers who attempted to steal on him.
The Yankees clocked Posada's throws at 1.95 seconds, which should allow him to continue gaining strength and challenge Major League runners if given adequate opportunity by the pitching staff.
"He has the most experience of any of our catchers behind the plate and he knows the league as well as any catcher in baseball, because he's been doing it for so long," manager Joe Girardi said.
"Jorge is the type of guy that brings an attitude every day. He grinds things out. I think he's real important."
After the season, Posada believes, he will need a procedure on the shoulder, which was cut open by Dr. James Andrews in November 2001 to repair a small tear in the labrum.
Andrews was one of the doctors whom Posada consulted when he resignedly admitted in late April that he would need to go on the disabled list for the first time in his Major League career.
"There's no discomfort, but, obviously, something is messed up in there," Posada said. "We're going to have to get that fixed after the season. ... From now on, at this point, I'm good enough to do the job."
Posada was not in the lineup on Wednesday but is expected to catch on Thursday, having caught back-to-back days in extended spring ball.
He now will focus on beginning a sequence in which Girardi plans to have him catch back-to-back games before resting on Saturday. After that, Posada can try to catch three in a row.
For the immediate future, the Yankees are going with three catchers, keeping Jose Molina and Chad Moeller on the active roster. That will change when Posada can prove that he won't suffer a recurrence of the "dead" feeling that forced him to ask out of an April 27 game at Cleveland just 12 minutes before the first pitch.
"In my mind, I don't think [the injury is] coming back," Girardi said. "I don't want to be in the situation where he catches two days in a row, you give him a day off and then possibly he couldn't catch that fourth day because he was a little tender. We have to be sure."
Posada understands the Yankees' caution.
"I missed so much time that it's going to be important to keep it healthy," he said.
In order to make room for Posada, the Yankees optioned right-hander Dan Giese to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, one day after he made his Major League debut in relief of right-hander Joba Chamberlain.
Joking that "it's a little louder in here," Derek Jeter said that Posada's presence makes an immediate impact on the Yankees' clubhouse.
"Jorge really takes control of the pitching staff, and he, obviously, is a presence in the middle of the lineup as well," Jeter said. "It does make a difference."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.