Stiff elbow sends Chamberlain to DL
Joba Chamberlain was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a stiff elbow, leaving the New York Yankees short two setup men in the bullpen.
Rafael Soriano also is sidelined, with inflammation in his right elbow, and is not expected back until perhaps the All-Star break. David Robertson is likely to assume the eighth-inning role as Mariano Rivera’s primary setup man, and manager Joe Girardi said he’ll look to mix and match in the seventh.
In other news, first baseman Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup after leaving Tuesday night’s series opener against Boston when he was hit on the right kneecap by a first-inning pitch from Jon Lester.
”It’s a lot better than I thought,” said Teixeira, who treated the bone bruise with plenty of ice. ”I didn’t sleep great last night but I woke up this morning and as soon as I started moving around, I didn’t have any problems.”
Girardi said he received a text message about 10 a.m. from Teixeira saying he was healthy enough to play.
”I was really surprised,” the manager said.
Yankees catcher Russell Martin, however, was out Wednesday because his back locked up the night before.
Francisco Cervelli started behind the plate and batted ninth. He went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk but also committed two throwing errors that helped Boston break out to a 4-0 lead after two innings in an 11-6 victory.
Girardi wasn’t sure when Martin will return.
”We’re going to wait until tomorrow and if it’s not getting better, then we’ll have some tests on it,” Martin said. ”It happened yesterday, after the game actually, during a workout. I was doing my regular routine, doing my legs, and then finished up with dead lifts. Did one rep and as I was coming up, I felt something weird in my back, and it hasn’t felt right since.”
Also, designated hitter Jorge Posada was not with the team because his son was having more surgery on his skull. Jorge Jr. has a condition called craniosynostosis, which causes problems with the growth pattern of the skull, and has had several operations throughout his childhood.
Posada is expected back Thursday. He replaced Teixeira on Tuesday night and showed signs of breaking out of his season-long slump, going 3 for 3 to raise his batting average to .195.
Alex Rodriguez was in the DH slot Wednesday night, with Eduardo Nunez playing third base. That left the Yankees with two healthy players on the bench: outfielders Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson.
”We’ve had a number of things that have hit us in a short period of time,” Girardi said.
New York added two fresh arms to the bullpen, claiming right-hander Jeff Marquez off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and recalling righty Amauri Sanit from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Right-hander Hector Noesi was optioned to Triple-A after throwing six solid innings in relief Tuesday night during a 6-4 loss. Noesi saved the bullpen following Freddy Garcia’s ineffective start, but won himself a ticket to the minors because the long outing made him unavailable to pitch for four days.
”You’ve got to make sure that you’re covered,” Girardi said. ”He did everything that we could have asked of him.”
Chamberlain, who has not given up a run in his past eight outings, said he’s been receiving routine treatment on the area where his forearm meets his elbow for about 10 days or two weeks. He said it hasn’t bothered him in games, but his elbow would tighten up after he pitched.
”It’s just one of those things when it was at the point where I was like, you know what, I’ve got to say something,” said Chamberlain, who threw 35 pitches in his most recent outing Sunday. ”I didn’t feel it when I pitched. It was when I was done. That’s kind of I guess the thing that kind of raised the red flag for me.”
The right-hander had an MRI exam Wednesday that revealed a strained flexor muscle. He will be shut down for 10 to 14 days before beginning a throwing program and is likely to miss several weeks.
He was placed on the DL retroactive to June 6.
”His stuff had been great,” Girardi said.
The Yankees traded Marquez to Chicago as part of a package for right fielder Nick Swisher in November 2008. He was signed to a major league contract Wednesday and added to the 25-man roster, and his flight was expected to land in New York about 5 p.m.
To make room for Marquez on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred reserve infielder Eric Chavez (broken left foot) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Sanit was with the Yankees from May 12-21, making three relief appearances. He allowed six earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.