When Mariano Rivera tore his ACL shagging fly balls, it was nothing short of devastating, for Rivera, the Yankees, and the entire baseball universe.Thankfully, Rivera vowed to make a comeback, refusing to retire after an injury, but he was ruled out for the remainder of 2012.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday "in terms of 2012, he's out."
Makes sense, exactly what we figured. But:
[Dr. Keith Pyne] added, that Rivera "will be in the best position to accomplish that goal [pitching this year]. He's got everything it takes to accomplish that. ... If I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo."
I mean, it's not impossible that Rivera could return this season. He's extraordinarily disciplined, and it turns out he had a partial ACL tear, instead of a complete one. The Yankees aren't going to count on anything and their plan needs to be going forward as if Rivera will remain unavailable, but there's the possibility of a miracle. Maybe it wouldn't even be a miracle.
Rivera injured himself before a game on May 3. At that point, the Yankees were 13-11. Since then they've gone 39-22, which has been good for the best record in baseball. Rafael Soriano has been extremely effective in racking up 20 saves. Rivera's healthy presence, obviously, would be a good thing for the Yankees, but it's clear that his absence hasn't left the team crippled.