A-Rod, Hicks not on disabled list — yet

So Alex Rodriguez did not go on the disabled list after all. Neither did Aaron Hicks as the Yankees apparently have decided to play short in the three-game series against the Rangers that opened the 11-day, nine-game trip, which begins Monday night in Arlington, Texas, and continues to Boston and Baltimore.

Rodriguez, who was forced out of Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium against the Rays because of stiffness in his left oblique, told reporters in Texas that he was feeling better and might even be able to pinch hit if called upon. Knowing manager Joe Girardi’s history of caution with ailing players, that would seem doubtful. Still, it was a good sign that A-Rod did not go on the DL and might be back earlier than expected.

Hicks, on the other hand, is probably a no-go for the Texas series as he has yet to do any serious work while nursing bursitis in his left shoulder. With yet another lefthander on the mound, Rangers rookie Cesar Ramos, Hicks would have been in the lineup if healthy.

Due to the roster shortage, Girardi was forced to start three left-handed hitting outfielders. Dustin Ackley was to make his first major-league start in right field (and only his third game there overall) in joining left fielder Brett Gardner and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Regular right fielder Carlos Beltran took Rodriguez’s place as the designated hitter. Second baseman Starlin Castro was moved to the 5-hole to give the Yankees some right-handed pop in thge middle of the order with the switch-hitting Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley.

There was more troubling news on the injury front. James Kaprelian, the Yankees’ first-round selection in last year’s First Year Player Draft, was examined by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad in New York and found to have inflammation in his right elbow after an MRI exam. The righthander will rest the elbow before beginning a throwing program. Kaprelian was off to a strong start for Class A Tampa in the Florida State League with a 2-1 record and a 1.50 ERA.

After getting a second opinion from noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, pitcher Branden Pinder has decided to have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He will be out for the remainder of the season.

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