Archive for Injuries
4:00pm: Joe Girardi confirmed that Granderson took two at-bats in ExST today, calling it “encouraging.” Well that’s welcome news.
3:30pm: Via Dan Martin: Curtis Granderson has continued to swing a bat at the team’s complex in Tampa, and there’s a chance he will be able to start playing in Extended Spring Training games this weekend. “He’s doing all the things we feel he needs to get ready for a game and hopefully we feel he’ll be in some games pretty soon … So far, we have not had any issues,” said Joe Girardi yesterday.
Granderson, 32, had his forearm broken on the fifth pitch he saw in Grapefruit League play, so he’ll need what amounts to a full Spring Training before rejoining the team. He estimated that at 50-75 at-bats last week. ExST games are informal and Granderson will be able to leadoff every inning, stuff like that, which will speed up the process. Martin says the Yankees are hopeful he will be back in the lineup in about two weeks, which would be swell. It’ll be nice to actually get a player back from the DL for once.
The Yankees have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries already this year, but Kevin Youkilis‘ recent back trouble takes an especially big bite out of the team’s roster. After all, he was originally signed as the replacement for another injured player, Alex Rodriguez. New York placed Youkilis on the DL yesterday, meaning they will be without their replacement third baseman for at least the next two weeks.
Because of the timing of the injury, the Yankees were left without a suitable roster fill-in. Corban Joseph got the call, but Brian Cashman made it clear they view him as a right-side infielder and emergency option at the hot corner only. Since Robinson Cano never takes a day off, it’s unclear how exactly the left-handed hitting Joseph helps the team right now. He’s one notch above a dead spot on the roster at the moment, a square peg forced into a round bench hole.
In a perfect world, the Yankees would have called up David Adams instead of Joseph. The 25-year-old would have given the team a legitimate option at third base and because he’s a right-handed hitter, he also would’ve helped with their struggles against southpaws. Theoretically, anyway. Unfortunately Adams can not be called up to the show until May 15th because he signed a minor league deal with the club after they released him last month. For whatever reason, those guys are forced to wait 30 days before returning to the show. Clay Rapada is in the same boat. The injury-prone Adams is perfectly healthy, but the rulebook keeps him in Triple-A.
Adams wasn’t the only right-handed option though, the Yankees also could have gone with 28-year-old Ronnie Mustelier instead of Joseph. He plays third base and left field, meaning he would have added some usable versatility and been an option to replace Ben Francisco once Youkilis did return. Mustelier is out with an injury though, specifically some kind of bruise suffered right at the very end of Spring Training. He was scheduled to play in his first minor league rehab game with High-A Tampa last night, but Mother Nature got in the way and the game was rained out.
There is never a good time for an injury, especially one to a player as important as Youkilis. The timing of this injury was particularly bad because the team’s best internal replacements are non-options. Adams is still two weeks away from being big league eligible and Mustelier still has an entire rehab assignment ahead of him before being ready for meaningful games. By the time Adams or Mustelier become legitimate options for the big league team, Youkilis will hopefully be ready to come off the DL. Given the way things have gone for the team health-wise this year, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised the latest injury comes at a time when the team’s best replacements aren’t even truly available.
The Yankees have placed Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day DL, the team announced. The official diagnosis is a lumbar spine sprain. Yesterday’s MRI showed no structural damage, but Youkilis was due to receive an epidural today. Because he played Saturday, the team can’t backdate the DL stint to the original injury last week. Obviously it was a mistake to have him play that game, in hindsight.
Infielder Corban Joseph has been called up from Triple-A to fill the roster spot. The 24-year-old hit .273/.347/.477 (130 wRC+) with four homers in 98 plate appearances this year, his second at the level. Joseph is a second and third baseman by trade, plus the team has had him work out at first recently. He isn’t particularly good anywhere defensively, plus he’s a left-handed bat who won’t help with the team’s continued problems against southpaws, so I really have no idea how they’re going to use him. I guess we’ll find out.
In case you were wondering, Brian Cashman confirmed David Adams is ineligible to be called up until May 15th. It’s the same rule that applies to Clay Rapada — players who are released and re-sign minor league contracts with the same team have to wait 30 days before going back to the show. Adams would have been a much better fit for the roster than Joseph as a right-handed bat who can legitimately play third base.
The MRI on Kevin Youkilis‘ stiff back was clean — no structural damage, that means — but he will receive an epidural tomorrow. The team is discussing a DL stint and frankly that seems incredibly likely. Too bad he played on Saturday, otherwise they could have backdated the DL trip and been half done with it already.
This isn’t surprising, but Kevin Youkilis will go for an MRI on his back tomorrow. He missed about a week with a stiff back before returning the lineup yesterday, but the problem popped up again and he was unable to play this afternoon. If he needs to go on the DL — they can’t backdate it to last weekend because he played yesterday — I would think David Adams or Corban Joseph are the call-up candidates. Joseph is on the 40-man and that could give him a leg up. Let’s see how the MRI goes before worrying about that.
The Yankees have placed Ivan Nova on the 15-day DL with right triceps inflammation according to Dan Barbarisi. That’s pretty much the best case scenario. He left last night’s start with what was originally called elbow pain, but after the game he and Joe Girardi confirmed it was stiffness in the triceps and not the elbow.
Vidal Nuno has been called up to fill Nova’s vacated roster spot, and. Derek Jeter was moved over to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot. David Phelps will replace Nova in the rotation and Nuno will work out of the bullpen.
10:41pm: The MRI results are not back yet, Joe Girardi said after the game. Nova complained of stiffness after the second inning, up closer to his triceps rather than his elbow. He lobbied to stay in the game though, which seems kinda silly.
8:32pm: Nova left the game with pain in his pitching elbow, the team announced. He is heading for an MRI.
7:56pm: Ivan Nova left tonight’s start against the Blue Jays for an unknown reason in the third inning. The last batter he faced hit a hard-hit ground ball single back up the middle, but it didn’t appear as though the ball hit Nova. The trainer came out and left immediately, without throwing any warm-up pitches or anything. Stay tuned for updates.
Another one bites the dust. Frankie Cervelli will miss a minimum of six weeks after suffering a fractured right hand on a foul tip in the very first inning of tonight’s game, the Yankees announced. He will have surgery tomorrow and Austin Romine has already been pulled from the Triple-A Scranton game according to Donnie Collins, so it’s very safe to assume he will join the team tomorrow. No 40-man roster move will be required.
Cervelli, 27, was hitting .269/.377/.500 (144 wRC+) with three homers in 61 plate appearances on the young season. He also threw out two of four attempted base-stealers and had played reasonably well defensively. Cervelli pushed himself ahead of Chris Stewart on the depth chart and had unofficially taken over as the everyday catcher about two weeks ago. Even though he spent basically all of last season in the minors, this is a pretty significant loss for a team that didn’t have much offensive wiggle room to start with.
It goes without saying that I hope Stewart doesn’t take over as the starting catcher by default. Romine should play regularly and get a chance to play everyday if he shows up and hits. He came into today with a .341/.400/.415 (134 wRC+) batting line in 45 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton. Considering that hand injuries can linger, the Yankees should be scouring the waiver and trade markets for catching help as well. The problem is that quality backstops are hard to find, so I wouldn’t expect any luck there.
Via Andy McCullough: Curtis Granderson and his fractured right forearm took approximately 15 swings in the batting cage prior to yesterday’s game. “A couple more days of that and he’ll go out on the field [for regular batting practice],” said Joe Girardi.
Granderson, 32, missed all of Spring Training and estimated he would need approximately 50-75 at-bats during a rehab assignment before being ready to rejoin the team. He could get like ten at-bats per day in Extended Spring Training, but he’ll also need a few regular minor league games just to get back into a routine and build up some stamina. Two weeks strikes me as optimistic, but it sounds like there’s a chance Granderson could return to the lineup sometime in mid-May.
Via Joel Sherman: Michael Pineda “topped out in the low-90 mph range and threw well” during his first simulated game earlier this week. That is pretty darn encouraging considering it was his first real game action and that he’s not even a full year out from surgery yet. For what it’s worth, Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings the Yankees did not have a radar gun on the right-hander the other day. Who knows.
Pineda, 24, threw a handful of live batting practice sessions in recent weeks before the simulated game. He only threw one inning, but that’s not at all surprising. His workload will gradually increase in the coming weeks. Sherman says the Yankees are hopeful Pineda can begin an official 30-day minor league rehab assignment in early-May, and if all goes well he could jump right into the rotation in early-June or be optioned to Triple-A for
more seasoning service time issues. I think Ivan Nova‘s performance is going to play a big role in that decision.