Yankees place Dustin Ackley on 15-day DL; Mason Williams to have shoulder surgery

Williams. (Presswire)
Williams. (Presswire)

The Yankees have placed utility man Dustin Ackley on the 15-day DL with a right lumbar strain, the team announced. Also, Brian Cashman told reporters Mason Williams will have shoulder surgery on August 7th, effectively ending his season. Blah.

Cashman said an MRI showed a herniated disc in Ackley’s back. He received an epidural and will be out 20-30 days. The Yankees are hoping Ackley can avoid surgery, which would end his season. The injury happened at some point after the trade. “He was a hot potato without realizing he was hot. The hot potato fell on our lap,” said the GM.

Ackley, 27, has never had any sort of back trouble before and this is the first time he’s ever been on the DL. He’s gone 0-for-3 at the plate since being acquired from the Mariners for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez last week. Ackley replaced Garrett Jones as the team’s fifth outfielder/backup first baseman.

Williams, meanwhile, has been out since mid-June with a right shoulder injury. He hurt himself diving back into first base on a pickoff play. Williams has been rehabbing his shoulder since the injury and has dealt with some setbacks, but the Yankees were optimistic he would avoid surgery. It won’t happen. That stinks.

The Yankees activated Slade Heathcott off the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A on Friday, so he can’t be recalled until next Monday because of the ten-day rule. Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin, Jose Pirela, and Cole Figueroa are all on the 40-man and waiting in Triple-A. I wonder if the Yankees will just stick with a three-man bench and an eight-man bullpen for the time being.

Update: Pineda heading to DL with Grade I forearm strain

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

2:59pm ET: It’s official. The Yankees have placed Pineda on the 15-day DL with a “right flexor forearm muscle strain,” the team announced. They did not give a timetable. Sabathia will be bumped up a day to start tonight. He’ll be on normal rest because of Tuesday’s spot starter.

2:37pm ET: Pineda is heading to the DL with a Grade I forearm muscle strain, reports Joel Sherman. It’s the same injury Andrew Miller had earlier this year. Miller missed a month but is a reliever who didn’t have to get stretched out. Between healing time and a minor league rehab assignment, Pineda could be out six to eight weeks. We’ll see. Sherman says Bryan Mitchell is being called up for long relief and Sabathia will start in place of Pineda tonight.

1:45pm ET: Well this is ominous. According to Marly Rivera, Michael Pineda has been scratched from tonight’s start with tightness in his forearm. Apparently Mike Francesa was first to report the news. No word on who will start tonight, but it could be CC Sabathia on normal rest. The Yankees have not yet officially announced anything.

Forearm tightness is usually code for an elbow injury. Pineda missed time with an elbow strain while in the minors back in 2009 but has had no trouble since as far as I can tell. He missed a bunch of time with shoulder trouble the last few years, but that’s it. His elbow has been sound.

Pineda, 26, has a 3.97 ERA (2.96 FIP) in 118 innings, by far the most innings he’s thrown since his rookie season in 2011. He tossed just 76.1 innings around a lat strain. Pineda’s control has been shaky at times this year, which is often a symptom of looming elbow trouble. He’s also a slider heavy pitcher, throwing it 33.5% of the time this season. Sliders are ostensibly bad for the elbow.

Even before Pineda’s injury, the Yankees needed pitching help to bolster a starting staff with a 4.32 ERA, ranking 21st in MLB. David Price and Johnny Cueto are off the board, Scott Kazmir too, but there are still quite a few arms available on the trade market, including Mike Leake and Yovani Gallardo. Either way, fingers crossed for Pineda. This is big picture scary.

Andrew Miller to be activated off DL on Wednesday


Left-hander Andrew Miller will be activated off the 15-day DL on Wednesday, Joe Girardi told reporters this afternoon. He’s expected to step right back into the closer’s role as well. “That’s probably what I would do,” said Girardi. Jacoby Ellsbury is due to be activated tomorrow as well.

Miller, 30, has missed just about four weeks with flexor muscle strain in his forearm. Tests confirmed the injury was limited to his forearm muscle, and there was no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. Miller threw a scoreless inning for Triple-A Scranton on Monday and told reporters today that he felt great.

I assume either Nick Rumbelow or Bryan Mitchell will go to Triple-A to clear a roster spot for Miller. I’d rather see Mitchell stick around but it’s not a huge deal either way. Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve really stepped up while Miller was out, plus Adam Warren returned to the bullpen, so the late-inning relief crew suddenly looks real deep.

Yankees to activate Jacoby Ellsbury off DL on Wednesday

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

The Yankees will activate Jacoby Ellsbury off the 15-day DL on Wednesday, Brian Cashman confirmed to George King. Ellsbury has been out since May 19th due to a right knee injury. I’m guessing Gregorio Petit will be sent to Triple-A to clear a roster spot.

Ellsbury was scheduled to play in a minor league rehab with High-A Tampa today, but Cashman said he’s been scratched because it rained and the field is soaked. Ellsbury played in a simulated game instead and will do the same Tuesday before rejoining the team. He’s 2-for-13 (.154) in four official rehab games so far.

Even after Ellsbury returns, the Yankees will still have Carlos Beltran (oblique), Slade Heathcott (quad), and Mason Williams (shoulder) on the DL. Ramon Flores figures to stick around until Beltran returns, but we’ll see. Either way, it’ll be nice to see the Ellsbury/Brett Gardner duo raise hell atop the lineup again.

Update: Carlos Beltran exits game with ribcage injury

12:52am: Beltran left the game with a ribcage injury, Joe Girardi told reporters after the game. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow and there’s a chance he’ll have to be placed on the DL.

11:35pm: Carlos Beltran exited tonight’s game with some kind of injury. He hurt himself during an at-bat in the fifth inning — Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue came out to check on him — but stayed in to finish the at-bat before being removed between innings. It appeared Beltran pointed to his oblique, but I could be wrong.

Beltran, 38, came into Tuesday’s game hitting .263/.312/.433 (103 wRC+) overall, though he’s been much better of late, with a .302/.349/.500 (135 wRC+) batting line since May 1st. The Yankees are already without Jacoby Ellsbury (knee), Slade Heathcott (quad), and Mason Williams (shoulder), so they really can’t afford to lose another outfielder. Ramon Flores is the obvious call-up candidate if Beltran misses time.

The Yankees haven’t announced anything about Beltran’s injury yet, so stayed tuned for updates.

Injury Updates: Ellsbury, Miller, Clarkin, DeCarr, Jagielo


The Yankees begin their three-game series with the Angels later tonight (much later tonight), so, until then, here are some updates on a few injured Yankees via Meredith Marakovits, Marly Rivera, Joel Sherman, and the Yankees themselves.

  • Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) traveled to Tampa following yesterday’s game and will begin playing in minor league rehab games at some point later this week. “I’m excited to get back. (I’ll be) playing in games sometime this week and I can’t wait to get back to big league club,” he said.
  • UPDATE: Ellsbury will start a rehab assignment with High-A Tampa today, the team just announced. My guess is the Yankees hope to have him back in the lineup for the start of the homestand on Friday. Fingers crossed.
  • Andrew Miller (forearm) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. He played catch the last few days and will do it again today. Miller will long-toss tomorrow before getting up on a mound Wednesday. Can’t imagine he’ll need much time to get ready after that as a short reliever.
  • Ian Clarkin (elbow) has not had Tommy John surgery. Not yet, anyway. Clarkin was shut down in Spring Training with elbow tendinitis and he reportedly pitched in an Extended Spring Training game in May, but we haven’t heard anything since. This non-update is the latest.
  • Austin DeCarr (elbow) did have Tommy John surgery, however. Not sure when when he had it — last week? last month? March? makes a difference! — but he had it. DeCarr was the team’s third round pick last year and I had him as their 16th best prospect coming in the season.
  • This isn’t really an injury, but I’m not sure where else to put it: Eric Jagielo was diagnosed with diabetes late last year. It’s manageable and hasn’t impacted his career in any way to this point. But still, geez. This has been a bad year for minor league injuries and this adds the lolwtf factor.

Jacob Lindgren to have surgery to remove bone spur from elbow


Rookie left-hander Jacob Lindgren will have surgery on Monday to remove a bone spur from his elbow, the Yankees announced. Team doctor Dr. Ahmad will perform the procedure and the Yankees say the rehab timetable is “expected to be no more than 12 weeks.”

Lindgren, 22, allowed four runs in seven innings with the Yankees after pitching to a 1.23 ERA (1.93 FIP) in 22 innings with Triple-A Scranton. He allowed three homers in his seven innings with New York and left a lot of pitches up, which could have had something to do with the elbow problem. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows.

I’m not sure how the timing of all this works. I was under the impression the Yankees would have had to call Lindgren back up and place him on the big league DL if he suffered the injury in MLB, allowing him to accrue service time and get big league salary. He was optioned down a few days ago and placed on the Triple-A DL though, and it sounds like that’s where he’s staying. Like I said, I’m not sure how this works.

The 12-week timetable comes close to ending Lindgren’s season — it puts him on target to return in the middle of September. I think the injury makes Lindgren a prime candidate for the Arizona Fall League, which would allow him to make up for some lost innings.