When Damaso Marte was placed on the DL on May 3rd with left shoulder tendinitis/ inflammation, he had only pitched 5.1 innings in the first month of the season, allowed 14 baserunners and 9 earned runs. Entering 2009, he was considered one of the Yankees best options for the 8th inning, but now he has faded into the oblivion of the disabled list. It's been over three weeks since he's been placed on the DL and the latest updates I could find were that he's started a throwing program (on level ground) but there is no timetable for his return.
Since coming to the Yankees as part of the Xavier Nady deal, Marte has not been good. At all. In 32 games in pinstripes (23.1 innings) his ERA stands at 7.60 and he has a WHIP of 1.521. Much was made of the one outing in Texas on August 4th last year where Joe Girardi left in him for 42 pitches, a total he had reached only one other time since April 20th, 2002. That's all well and good, but he had the entire offseason to recover and as documented above, was terrible to begin this year.
Perhaps the Yankees are taking their time with Marte's return because he is less than two months into the 3 year/$12M contract they gave him this offseason. By the time the free agent market collapsed, it looked like a pretty bad deal. Now that he has been ineffective/totally absent for the first seven weeks of the season, it's starting to look worse.
Despite the epic suckitude Marte has displayed with the Yankees, he still has a career ERA of 3.43. He's 34 years old, so perhaps injuries are catching up to him and his best baseball is him. However, the Yankees could really use to stability at the back end of their bullpen and unfortunately, barring a trade, Marte still represents one of their best options.