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Yanks activate Dotel


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Nice to see him back on the mound.....lets see how he does the rest of the way

Surprise! Dotel able to pitch in



Octavio Dotel was lounging in his hotel room in Columbus Tuesday night, watching the movie "Mission Impossible 3" when his cell phone rang. It was Mark Littlefield, the trainer at the Yankees' Tampa complex who had shepherded Dotel through much of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Littlefield had the ultimate news for the recovering pitcher and the two shared a laugh when Littlefield heard what Dotel was doing. "He said, 'That mission is impossible, but this one is possible,'" Dotel recalled. After not pitching since May, 2005, Dotel was being activated by the Yankees.

"I didn't want to watch the movie after that," Dotel said, smiling, as he sat in the Yankee clubhouse before last night's game. "I feel like it's the first time I got to the big leagues."

Dotel threw one-third of an inning last night, striking out the first batter he faced but giving up a single to Miguel Tejada and walking Jay Gibbons before being replaced by Scott Proctor. The first pitch Dotel threw was 94 mph and he topped out at 97, according to the Stadium scoreboard.

"I know it wasn't a nice day," Dotel said afterward. "But, finally, I made it back." Dotel admitted being "a little too pumped up" for his appearance. "But I felt good," he added. "I feel I'm almost 100% back."

To make room for the 32-year-old righty, the Yankees optioned reliever Jose Veras to Columbus. It was a bit of a surprise that Dotel was activated last night, because Joe Torre had said Tuesday that the righthander wasn't close to joining the Bombers.

But Dotel had been lobbying GM Brian Cashman for more than a week, saying over and over again how good he felt.

"He's been giving me the full-court press," Cashman said. "I said, patience, my friend, patience. But his stuff has been good.

"I don't think anyone should expect the Dotel who was closing (for the A's and Astros before he was hurt). But if he's close to that, he can help us," Cashman said. "We know what he can do when he's healthy, but we also know there is an unknown component here. But 75 to 80% of what he was is better than most."

When Dotel is right, he can be terrific. He has held hitters to a .213 average in his career and righties have hit only .201 against him. He averages 10.87 strikeouts per nine innings and is second among relievers in strikeouts since 2001, even though he missed the first 116games of this year. Only Billy Wagner (491) has more than Dotel, who has fanned 482 over that span.

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It will be interesting to see how they bring him along. As far as I know he hasn't worked back to back days yet.

Also....don't make me dig up old posts. But I was right when I said he wouldn't pitch until late in the year if at all. Many others were saying he would be here for May.

Regardless if he is healthy for the postseason and can help keep Mo out of the 8th...that is all they need.

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Dotel looked like he could be nasty.

Now all he has to do is harness it. If he does it could be lights out for everyone else.

To much adreneline last night. His stuff was mostly up in the zone. But he hit the mid 90s a couple of times, so the heat is there. He threw a breaking pitch or 2.

I doubt he pitches back to back for a week or 2. But once he gets used to the nitty-gritty of being in the Majors again, watch out. Another live arm, with experience, in the back of the pen.

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