The New York Yankees again placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list because of a back injury, and they optioned reliever Adam Warren to Triple-A Scranrton/Wilkes-Barre.
In another move Friday, shortstop Eduardo Nunez, out with a left oblique strain, was transferred from the 15- to the 60-day DL. This is the 14th time the Yankees have used the DL and the second time with Youkilis, who missed 30 games with a lumbar spine sprain before returning to the lineup on May 31.
”It’s a little different, but we’re basically just getting it all checked out and make sure it’s nothing serious,” Youkilis said. ”It’s in the same area, but the parts of my back that were hurting before don’t hurt that much. There’s a little tightness, but nothing anywhere near what it was. It was more just something hitting the nerves. So hopefully we can get it resolved as quick as possible.”
Youkilis is one of eight Yankees currently on the DL, including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Francisco Cervelli, Michael Pineda and rookie Cesar Cabral, who was sent outright to Double-A Trenton on Friday.
The three-time All-Star who signed a one-year, $12 million contract with New York as a free agent on December 14, has played in only 28 games and is batting .219 with two home runs and eight RBIs. It’s the eighth time Youkilis has been on the DL in his 10-year career.
”When you break your arm or break your finger, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint stuff. But when you don’t have a definitive answer all the time, it’s tough,” Youkilis said. ”The most frustrating thing is not being able to get on the field. I just want to be out there playing, so right now it stinks.
Youkilis is expected to see back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins on Saturday in Marina Del Rey. He played all 18 innings of the Yankees’ 3-2 loss and was 0 for 7, making him 6 for 41 since returning from the first injury.
”I knew I was going to be sore in a lot of different areas after that game,” Youkilis said. ”A lot of guys probably woke up with sore legs, and that’s what I thought this was. It’s just a dull feeling right now. I’ve had a little bit of symptoms in the big toe on my right foot and my calf area – just a little numbness and stuff like that. But today I have the kind of feeling you get when you fall asleep on your hand or your foot and then wake up.”
Manager Joe Girardi is as frustrated as Youkilis is. He’s had to use backup shortstop Jayson Nix at third base on an emergency basis, as well as rookie David Adams and Chris Nelson – who was designated for assignment last month.
”I think whenever you have a back issue, there’s always long-term concern,” Girardi said. ”It’s hard to keep healthy, with all the movements that you make – the swings, diving for balls, sliding – it’s really something that you really have to stay on top of. And, in a sense, you really have to be a little bit lucky, too, to keep it healthy. I mean, it’s twice in not even three months.”
The Yankees also purchased the contracts of right-hander Chris Bootcheck and outfielder Thomas Neal from Triple-A. Warren won’t be available for four or five days because he threw six scoreless innings of four-hit ball during Thursday’s marathon and used 85 pitches.
”`It’s really hard when a guy does his job and you have to send him down, but that’s kind of the life of a long man a lot of times. He’s pitched very well and we’re really encouraged with what he’s done,” Girardi said.
”With Bootcheck, we need some pitching because Adam threw a lot yesterday. And we’re going to see a lot of lefties the next in the next 10 days, and Thomas has been swinging the bat good in Triple-A, so we thought we’d get him up here. He gives us another outfielder and options against lefties.”