DL bug finally reaches Yanks’ bullpen

The bullpen had been the one area of the Yankees’ roster unstained by injury in the first month of the season. That situation has changed.

The Yankees placed righthander Joba Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 28, because of a right oblique strain. They called up righthander Preston Claiborne from Triple A Scranton where he had three saves in three opportunities with a 3.48 ERA and 10 strikeouts in eight relief appearances totaling 10 1/3 innings. To create room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated righthander Cody Eppley for assignment.

In addition, David Robertson is also ailing with soreness in the area behind his left knee. The righthander was not available for Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Athletics.

Without Chamberlain and Robertson, Yankees manager Joe Girardi will have to maneuver his bullpen differently in the late innings. Even relying on matchups won’t help much considering that Claiborne, recent call-up Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren have limited experience. Girardi said he may have to rely on veteran Shawn Kelley more in late-inning spots.

Friday night marked the 1,000th managerial game over seven seasons for Girardi, who had a 574-425 (.575) overall record – 496-341 (.593) in 837 games in six seasons with the Yankees (2008-present) and 78-84 (.481) in one season with the Marlins (2006) when he was received the National League Manager of the Year Award from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Regardless of Friday night’s outcome, Girardi will have the best winning percentage among all managers with at least 1,000 games at the helm since Hall of Famer Earl Weaver compiled a 1,480-1,060 (.583) mark over a 17-year managerial career (1968-82 and ‘85-86), all with the Orioles. Among active managers, Girardi ranks second in winning percentage behind the Rockies’ Walt Weiss (17-11, .607), who is in his first season as a skipper, and ahead of the Nationals’ Davey Johnson (1,301-1,009, .563).

Friday night was also an anniversary for Robinson Cano, who made his major-league debut on this date eight years ago. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Cano has more career hits (1,495) for the Yankees than any other player in franchise history through his first eight calendar years in the big leagues. Cano has played more games (1,241) with the Yanks than the other 12 position players on their active roster combined (1,074).

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