I apologize for the second straight alliterative post title.
Waaaay back in late May, Jay posted this, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look a Damaso Marte, who even three months ago, seemed like a forgotten man. Since then, we've had numerous updates on his rehab progress. Just yesterday, I speculated that Sergio Mitre could be making his final appearance with the Yankees, as Marte's rehab assignment was set to expire.
Then, shortly before game time, came the news that Marte is not returning, having been excused from the team indefinitely for "personal reasons". First off, I hope that, aside from the shoulder problem that has shelved him virtually year, everything is alright with Marte and his family. Secondly though, the timing of this is all very dubious, given that none of this was announced until something had to be done with Marte. Funny that personal problems would crop up right at that point in time.
We may have seen the last of Damaso Marte in 2009. Or, the Yankees may be looking to buy some more time until rosters expand on September 1st. That would seem unlikely though, as I imagine Marte's being excused will preclude him from participating in any further minor league games this year, which in turn will prevent him from getting his velocity back to where the Yankees want it.
Marte is under contract for two more years. I have a feeling we'll be seeing some interesting stories about this whole situation during the dog days of spring training next year. Until then though, this will remain a very curious subplot to the 2009 season.