Dellin Betances and Luis Severino have been waiting very patiently in the dugout and clubhouse to finally pick up their gloves again. And Monday was finally that time to hit the field for some catch.
"I greeted them with 'happy throwing day,'" manager Aaron Boone told The Athletic's Lindsey Adler.
Both pitchers, who have been on the IL since the start of the season, were seen in right field throwing a baseball for the first time since being activated over the weekend. It was just to get the blood flowing again, with 25 throws from 60 feet.
There is still a long road to travel before these two can get back on the mound in a game situation. But for Betances, that road is one with light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that there will likely be meaningful baseball to play once he's reached his destination.
"It would have been harder if we were in last place," Betances said. "Then it would have felt hopeless. Right now, there's still baseball left, and I can help them."
Betances, like Severino, has been dealing with shoulder and lat issues. The hard-throwing reliever had been shut down twice during his rehab assignments.
"It's tough because you know when you're playing, you have your bad days and you can try to go at it the next day," Betances said. "But for me, it's just been rehabbing the whole time pretty much."
Could this timing have been any worse for Betances, who is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career this upcoming offseason? Definitely not. But he isn't thinking about that right now
"I am positive that sometimes good things happen to people that wait," he said. "I'm just waiting for my turn to help the team out."
Though they are working their way back together, Severino's rehab to get back in starter shape will be longer than Betances. He needs to not only be able to throw his normal velocities, but also go deep into games.
With the second half already underway and Severino needing to basically re-do his Spring Training, coming back as a starter in time to get enough outings before the postseason may not be in the cards.
But he doesn't mind working out of the bullpen if that means he'll be helping the Bombers win games.
"I wanna be a starter," he said. "But if they need me quicker as a reliever I would say yes.
"I just wanna pitch. It doesn't matter where, in a bullpen or as a starter, I just wanna pitch."
The Yankees are in a comfortable situation at the moment, even after their tough loss to the Rays last night. They own a five-game lead in the AL East. However, that all changes will the postseason comes around and the records fall back to zeroes.
Then, the team will need all the help they can get. Hopefully Betances and Severino will be available when that time comes.