ATLANTA -- Eric O'Flaherty felt helpless as he was limited to bystander status while the Yankees tallied six runs in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 6-4 win over the Braves. But by this weekend, the veteran left-handed reliever believes his left elbow will be healthy enough for him to resume pitching.
O'Flaherty woke up on Monday with what he described as a little bit more than normal soreness. He has experienced some relief while resting over the past couple of days and believes he might be available to come out of Atlanta's bullpen by Saturday.
"We did all of the exams, and it does not look like anything major is going on," O'Flaherty said. "We'll just give it a couple days and see if it calms down."
O'Flaherty plans to play catch at Turner Field during Thursday's off-day. If all goes well, he could throw a bullpen session on Friday, then possibly be ready for the final two games of this weekend's series against the Orioles in Atlanta.
"Our medical people are saying if we can get him through these next couple of days, he'll be fine," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
With O'Flaherty unavailable, the Braves could not afford to keep Cory Gearrin, who also would have been unavailable on Wednesday after coming out of the bullpen on Monday and Tuesday. So the club optioned Gearrin back to Triple-A Gwinnett and recalled right-handed Anthony Varvaro on Wednesday.
Varvaro posted a 2.81 ERA and saw opponents hit .260 against him in 18 appearances for Gwinnett this year. Varvaro learned of his promotion around 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday after traveling throughout the day from Pawtucket, R.I., back to the Atlanta area.