Fret no more, Yankee fans. Your all-time saves leader is back. Mariano Rivera was limited to nine games last year when he tore his ACL in his right knee while tracking down a fly ball during batting practice on May 3. For the first time since his knee surgery last year, the 43-year-old Mariano Rivera threw 25 pitches in his first batting practice session on Friday.
Rivera felt more excited than nervous saying “this is the first BP I’m throwing in almost a year, so I’m real happy with the results.”
I’m sure both the Yankees and their fans are excited to get Rivera back, but some may have concerns about how effective his pitching will be. Rivera isn’t necessarily worrying about that in particular stating “my command I don’t worry about. That’s one thing I never worry about. It didn’t take no vacation. It’s still there. It hasn’t gone nowhere. The big thing now is to do the real thing, covering first base, fielding bunts, all that stuff.” It sounds like it will only be a few more sessions before Rivera will be ready to go for his Grapefruit League debut.
With his return, the Yankees get back a 12-time All-Star with an impressive 608 saves in the regular season and 42 more in the postseason.