Archive for Injuries
Via Joel Sherman: Left-hander Manny Banuelos recently started pitching in simulated games as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Three weeks ago we heard he was facing hitters in live batting practice down at the team’s complex in Tampa. Simulated games are a bit more intense though because you’re actually trying to get outs and throw full 15-20 pitch “innings” with no break between batters.
Banuelos, 22, had his surgery last October and the Yankees have been conservative with his rehab. Simulated games usually come 8-10 months after surgery according to Mike Dodd’s classic Tommy John rehab article, but Banuelos is already into his 11th month of rehab. No big deal really, he was expected to miss the entire season and the team has every reason to play it safe. Banuelos has missed close to two full years with elbow problems — he threw only 24 innings last year before getting hurt — and those are two pretty important development years at his age.
Banuelos’ winter ball rights are still control by his former Mexican League team in Monterrey, so the Yankees would have to jump through some hoops if they want the southpaw to get some innings over the winter. They did work out an agreement with Monterrey allowing him to pitch in the Arizona Fall League a few seasons ago. Bench coach Tony Pena usually manages in the Dominican Republic over the winter, so maybe they can figure out a way to get Banuelos there so he’s under a watchful eye.
10:15pm: It’s a tight right calf for A-Rod, the Yankees announced. Not the hamstring. Phew, I was getting worried they would go more than two games without a new injury.
9:46pm: Alex Rodriguez was pinch-hit for and left tonight’s game in the fifth inning for an unknown reason. He’s been battling a nagging hamstring injury that has limited him to DH duties only, so that seems like a pretty good reason. So it goes.
Boone Logan is flying to Florida to have his left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews. That’s bad. The elbow has been barking for about a week now and he reportedly tried to play catch this weekend. The injury comes at a bad time for both the Yankees, who are without their top lefty reliever, and Logan himself — he’s due to become a free agent after the season. Cesar Cabral is getting a trial by fire as Joe Girardi‘s top matchup lefty in the meantime.
Sunday: Phelps has indeed been activated. He threw a two-inning simulated game on Thursday, so at least he had some kind of tune-up appearance under his belt. Derek Jeter was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot.
Saturday: Via Dan Barbarisi: The Yankees will activate David Phelps off the 60-day DL prior to Saturday’s game to help their, uh, disheveled bullpen. Last week we heard Phelps had just started playing catch and was still a few days away from throwing in the bullpen. He’s been out with two forearm strains since early-July. There is pretty much zero chance Phelps is big league ready. Desperation is a stinky cologne.
Today’s MRI revealed a Grade I strain of Brett Gardner‘s left oblique, Joe Girardi announced. That is the least severe strain but “he’s going to be out a while” and it’s possible his season is over. Girardi did say the Yankees may be able to bring Gardner back as a pinch-runner sooner rather than later.
Gardner, 30, has hit .273/.344/.416 (107 wRC+) with eight homers and 24 steals (in 32 attempts) in 609 plate appearances this season. He and Robinson Cano pretty much carried the offense for the first four months of the season before reinforcements arrived after the All-Star break. Add in his stellar outfield defense and the fact that the Yankees don’t really have another suitable leadoff man, and yeah, this is a big blow.
5:06pm: Nova threw his usual between-starts bullpen session and told Dan Barbarisi that he felt fine. He expects to start as scheduled on Sunday but the Yankees have not yet made any kind of final announcement. I don’t think they will make an announcement, actually. The announcement would be come if Nova is not starting. So no news is good news.
12:30pm: Via George King: It is unclear if Ivan Nova will be able to make his scheduled start on Sunday due to the right triceps tightness that forced him to leave Tuesday’s game after only 79 pitches. “It’s not easy to tell if I am pitching [Sunday] … I am letting my arm get refreshed to see where I am at. I want to go,” said Nova while Joe Girardi added the team’s plan “is for him to make his next start.”
Nova, 26, said the triceps has been bothering him for about a month now. He spent about a month on the DL with a triceps issue earlier this season, so this isn’t necessarily something that just popped up. Nova has pitched very well overall (3.17 ERA and 3.36 FIP) but has labored a bit in his last five or six starts, which could easily be due to the triceps problem. The Yankees don’t have many rotation alternatives, so if Nova needs to skip his start or be pushed back, it’ll likely be Adam Warren or David Huff on Sunday. I guess Brett Marshall is in the mix as well.
The Yankees have placed Derek Jeter on the 15-day DL with continued left ankle problems, the team announced. Brian Cashman confirmed the Cap’n is done for the season and won’t return even if the Yankees manage to qualify for the playoffs. Bummer.
“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play, especially this time of year. This is when I want to play the most,” said Jeter. “This entire year has been pretty much a nightmare for me physically, so it’s kinda fitting that it ends like this.”
“This was a much more difficult rehabilitation situation than we ever expected,” added Cashman. He acknowledged the DL move was made to protect both Jeter and the team from rushing things, and also said they weren’t planning to shut him down as recently as yesterday.
Jeter, 39, played just 17 games this year with a series of leg problems, including quad and calf issues. Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed the ankle surgery last October, said Jeter needs to strengthen the area around the ankle and there simply isn’t enough time to do so at this point.
“I haven’t been able to work out my legs since October of last year,” said Jeter when asked about returning next season. “I truly believe that with a full offseason working out how I’m used to working out, I can return to doing what I normally do.”
The Yankees acquired Brendan Ryan from the Mariners last night to bolster their shortstop depth. He is not eligible for the playoff roster, however. If they manage to get that far, Eduardo Nunez will be the guy.
Ivan Nova left tonight’s game with tightness in his right triceps, Joe Girardi confirmed. He threw only 79 pitches in six innings of work. Nova missed about a month with a triceps issue earlier this season and Girardi said he’s been dealing with some tightness for about a month. Okay then. The skipper confirmed the move was precautionary and indicated there isn’t a ton of concern.
10:34pm: Romine “probably” has a concussion, according to Joe Girardi. I imagine they have to run some tests before they know for sure. If he does have one, there’s a decent chance his season is over. Like I said, brain injuries are nothing to mess around with.
9:46pm: Austin Romine left tonight’s game in the eighth inning after taking a foul tip to the face mask. He actually stayed in the game to finish the at-bat, but was later visited by the trainer and taken off the field. More than a few catchers have suffered concussions on foul tips this year, so it’s good they’re getting him out of there. Brain injuries are no joke.
10:29pm: A-Rod‘s left hamstring tightening up on him running the bases, but Joe Girardi made it seem like the decision to lift him is precautionary more than anything. There are no tests planning and A-Rod may DH tomorrow night.
9:42pm: Alex Rodriguez left tonight’s game after the top of the eighth inning for an unknown reason. He scored from second on a single earlier in the inning and had to slide into home, but there was no indication he was hurt on the play. He didn’t limp off the field or anything. Considering A-Rod’s injury history and the way this year is gone in general, a red flag goes up whenever anyone leaves a game for a non-obvious reason.