Results tagged ‘ MRI ’
Just when they were shaking off the negative effects of being swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox with two victories over the Rays to pull to 2 1/2 games of the second American League Wild Card slot, the Yankees were dealt a blow before Thursday night’s series finale at St. Petersburg, Fla., a 2-0 loss to the Rays.
Masahiro Tanaka will not be able to make his next scheduled start, which would have been Monday night at Toronto, the last road game of the season for the Yankees against the club now holding the first Wild Card position. Pitching that night would have put Tanaka in place to make one more start the final weekend of the regular season against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Now if Tanaka recovers in time as he is expected to, that start in the last homestand will be his last of the regular season as well.
Tanaka reported tightness in his right forearm after Wednesday night’s 11-5 victory in which he gave up four home runs in a game for the first time in his career. The victory improved his record to 14-4 with a league-leading 3.07 ERA that has him in consideration for the AL Cy Young Award, but being sidelined hurts his chances.
An MRI exam revealed that Tanaka, who has pitched 199 2/3 innings this season in his 31 starts, has a small flexor mass strain in his right forearm. Yankees manager Joe Girardi termed the ailment “slight” and that it had no connection to the righthander’s ulnar collateral ligament.
Tanaka will not throw at all for five days. The Yankees are hopeful that a rested Tanaka will be on schedule to start one of the final three games of the season against the Orioles. Girardi did not name a starter to take Tanaka’s place Monday night at Toronto.
It certainly puts a crimp in the Yankees’ late-season charge to lose the staff ace for an important start. The Yankees are 23-8 in Tanaka’s starts.
The 11th shutout loss of the season hurt the Yankees’ chances to continue to move up the standings. Luis Cessa gave up a first-inning run on three singles and not another until Corey Dickerson homered with two out in the sixth. The Yankees kept leaving runners on base in every inning but one and stranded 11 overall while going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had something of a makeshift lineup for Sunday night’s finale of the four-game series at Fenway Park where they hoped to avoid a sweep. Three of the players in the Yankees’ batting order were not even on the club a week ago.
Injuries to second baseman Starlin Castro and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury sustained in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox forced Girardi to improvise. Mason Williams, who was recalled from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last week, started in center field. At second base was Donovan Solano, who was called up Sunday morning. At first base was Billy Butler, who was released by the Athletics two weeks and signed by the Yankees last week.
Also out of the lineup was third baseman Chase Headley, who has a stiff lower back. Ronald Torreyes started in his place.
Castro’s injury is the most serious, a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring. He pulled up lame while running out a double in the fifth inning. Such ailment often takes two weeks to recover from, and that is all that is left of the Yankees’ season. His loss comes at a time when he has been hot with 12 hits, including a home run and three doubles, in his past 24 at-bats.
Ellsbury bruised his right knee sliding into the fence in right-center field while tracking a double by Xander Bogaerts that started the two-run rally in which the Red Sox overtook the Yankees and knocked them behind four clubs in pursuit of the second American League Wild Card slot in the playoffs. Luis Severino was charged with his first earned run in 20 innings as a reliever as the Red Sox tied the score. They got the winning run on a wild pitch by Adam Warren.
Castro and Ellsbury underwent MRI exams Sunday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and were treated by Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the team physician. Both players are expected to rejoin the club in St. Petersburg, Fla., by Tuesday night when the Yanks open a three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Jacoby Ellsbury’s trip around the bases in the first inning Friday night proved costly as the center fielder hurt his right hip while scoring the Yankees’ first run. Ellsbury came out of the game at inning’s end and was to undergo an MRI exam. This is the same hip that Ellsbury injured last year that placed him on the disabled list.
Ellsbury entered the game with a career slash line of .429/.448/.929 in 28 career at-bats against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who brought a 5-0 record and a 13 1/3-inning scoreless streak into the game. Ellsbury helped put an end to that by drawing a four-pitch, leadoff walk, stealing second and third base and scoring on a two-out double by Brian McCann. On the trot home Ellsbury pulled up lame. Dustin Ackley came out to play right field at the start of the second inning with Aaron Hicks moving to Ellsbury’s spot in center.
Ackley tied the score for the Yankee in the bottom of the second with a two-out, RBI single. The Red Sox had scored in the first inning against Michael Pineda on a two-run home run by David Ortiz, his third homer in four games against the Yankees this year and the 50th of his career against them.
Ellsbury’s injury comes at a time when the Yankees are pretty beat up. Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia are on the DL. Brett Gardner returned to the lineup after not starting Thursday night in Baltimore because of a a bruised right triceps.
Monday’s open date, the Yankees’ last day off until May 23, did not appear to do anything to invigorate them. In fact, it may have done the opposite. While they did lose Sunday night to finish off being swept by the Red Sox, the Yankees scored seven runs.
Come Tuesday night in Baltimore, the Yankees went right back to their piddling offense. One measly run is all they could muster against the Orioles, who moved back into first place in the American League East with a 4-1 victory that jumped Baltimore back over the Red Sox, who lost to the White Sox.
And to make matters worse, Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees’ hottest hitter on this trip, came up lame in the fifth inning and will undergo an MRI exam on his right hamstring Wednesday. A-Rod missed only two games in Texas at the start of the trip due to an oblique injury, so the Yankees are hopeful they can be that lucky again, except that is a 40-year-old hamstring.
A-Rod’s health was always going to be an issue this season, but the timing of his likely absence from the lineup could not be worse. Rodriguez has hit .353 with four runs, two doubles, three home runs and six RBI in 17 at-bats on a trip in which the Yankees have scored only 16 runs in seven games (2.3 per game), six of them losses. The Yanks have now lost twice as many games as they have won mostly because of an anemic offense and inconsistent starting pitching.
Luis Severino, who had been expected to emerge as a possible staff ace this season, fell to 0-4 with a 6.31 ERA. The righthander also embarrassed himself with two dropped balls trying to cover first base. One of the errors resulted in a run. Despite the PFP (pitchers fielding practice) blunders, Severino was hurt more by two fat pitches to Mark Trumbo, who homered off both of them in driving in three runs.
It was another disappointing outing from a starting pitcher. The Yankees’ rotation has a 4-11 record with a 5.13 ERA in 135 innings in which it has allowed 154 hits. With the margin for error so slim because of the weak run support, the Yankees cannot afford to have starters put them behind early in games.
The Yankees actually gave Severino a 1-0 lead in the second on Didi Gregorius’ two-out, RBI single, but the first of Trumbo’s two homers leading off the bottom half of the inning immediately tied the score. The Orioles filled the bases with two outs with Severino’s first error fueling the rally, but he got Manny Machado, the American League Player of the Month for April, on a popup to first baseman Mark Teixeira on the first pitch.
Baltimore took the lead in the fourth with an unearned run on Severino’s second dropped feed from Teixeira that allowed Jonathan Schoop, who had doubled with two out, to score.
Machado pulled a rock in the fifth when after he led off with a double tried to cross to third base on a grounder to the left side and was thrown out at third by Gregorius. Severino struck out Chris Davis but got victimized by Trumbo again.
The Orioles went down meekly after that as their last 10 batters were retired with Kirby Yates and Johnny Barbato pitching a shutout inning apiece. Baltimore was actually worse than the Yankees were in situations with runners in scoring position. The Orioles were 0-for-6 and the Yankees 1-for-7. The Yankees are actually hitting better with runners in scoring position on the trip (.225) than they are overall for the season (.201).
The Yankees left one runner on base in each of the first six innings against winning pitcher Chris Tillman, who finished strongly by striking out the side in the seventh.
Michael Pineda endured a nightmare of a first inning Sunday that put a damper on a bright, sunshine day in which the Yankees were shooting for their first series sweep since Aug. 28-30 last year at Atlanta. Instead, they fell back into the cellar of the American League East and hobbled their way to Arlington, Texas, to begin an 11-day, nine-game trip that starts Monday night against a Rangers team that is tied for first place in the AL West.
Five pitches into Sunday’s game before a crowd of 40,931 at Yankee Stadium, Pineda had two outs and nobody on base. He then gave up hits to the next six batters, including two doubles and two home runs, as the aggressive Rays attacked him early in the count to put up a five-spot against which the Yankees brought little resistance in falling, 8-1.
The only positive for Pineda Sunday was that he managed to pitch through the fifth inning, which spared manager Joe Girardi of digging too deep into his already overworked bullpen. Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-inning start Saturday helped, but Girardi knew from the outset Sunday that he did not have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller available. This game turned out not to be the type in which either of the late-inning shutdown guys works.
Birthday boy Steven Souza celebrated turning 27 with two home runs, a two-run shot in the first and a solo blast in the fifth. Pineda also gave up dingers to Corey Dickerson following a two-out double off the top of the center field wall by Evan Longoria in the first inning and to Steve Pearce leading off the third. Logan Forsythe, who had three hits, joined the home run derby with Tampa Bay’s fifth of the game, a solo shot in the eighth off Nick Goody.
It was also Carlos Beltran’s birthday. The Yankees right fielder turned 39 but did not have as explosive a game as Souza. Beltran was 1-for-4. His first-inning single off eventual winning pitcher Drew Smyly was career hit No. 2,472 for Beltran, who tied Ted Simmons for 10th place among switch hitters. In ninth place at 2,605 is Tim Raines.
The day turned grimmer for the Yankees when Alex Rodriguez, who has driven in their only run with a two-out double in the fourth inning, could not bat when his turn came up again in the sixth. Girardi had to use the left-handed hitting Dustin Ackley as a pinch hitter against the lefty-throwing Smyly (although Ackley singled for his first hit of the season, in his eighth at-bat).
An MRI exam on Rodriguez’s sore left oblique was negative, but the situation shows the dilemma the Yankees are in with Aaron Hicks already out several days because of traumatic bursitis in his left shoulder. The Yanks have proved vulnerable to left-handed pitching. They are 2-5 against left-handed starters and are batting .225 with two home runs overall in 213 at-bats off lefties. Against right-handed pitching, the Yankees are batting .246 with 16 home runs in 358 at-bats.
The Yankees said that A-Rod will make the trip to Texas. But if he cannot play right away, and that is very likely considering how lingering oblique injuries tend to be, and with Hicks out as well, the Yankees lose two right-handed bats. Switch-hitter Nick Swisher, who was released by Atlanta and signed a Triple A contract with the Yankees, is playing for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but is not on the 40-man roster. The Yankees are not believed interested in dropping anyone off the 40-man roster at this time, which limits their options if they make an internal move for outfield and DH help. The best bet for a call-up would be outfielder Ben Gamel, who is hitting .300 with a .368 on-base percentage at SWB but alas bats left-handed.
The Yanks have known along that staying healthy is a challenge to a team with aging players. The upcoming trip that continues to AL East rival stops in Boston and Baltimore could be a major test for them.
The news on the condition of Mark Teixeira’s right leg remains bad, even to the point of worse. Tex, who had hoped to return to action during the three-game series at Boston, will find himself on crutches instead.
An MRI of the All-Star first baseman Tuesday in New York showed a deeper bone bruise than originally revealed and more fluid in the area which he damaged Aug. 17 by fouling a ball off it. Tex has made one start and three plate appearances in 13 games since then. The Yankees are 7-6 in those games.
The only positive part of the medical report on Teixeira is that there is no fracture of the bone. Nevertheless, he cannot run and needs crutches for the next few days just to walk. This does not bode well for the Yankees as they start September and begin a stretch run trailing the Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games in the American League East.
Greg Bird, the rookie who has played first base mostly while Tex has been sidelined, has done a decent job overall, although his performance in Monday night’s 4-3 loss was far from his best. He struck out twice with the bases loaded in his 1-for-5 showing, was thrown out at the plate trying to score and bobbled a potential double-play grounder as what proved the deciding run scored.
All this concern about first base has prompted manager Joe Girardi to consider using Alex Rodriguez there, which I think is foolish. To begin with, A-Rod is not a first baseman. He has spent his entire career on the left side of the infield. Rodriguez played a game there earlier in the season and was horrible in the field. He has been a designated hitter most of the season and benefit from not taxing his 40-year-old legs to make an offensive comeback. I would not mess around with that, especially at a time when A-Rod has shown the first signs of advanced age. He batted .153 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 85 at-bats in August and watched his season batting average slide from .282 to .256. Girardi finally took him out of the 3-hole in the batting order Tuesday night.
The Yankees have other options that to me make more sense. Third baseman Chase Headley, a switch hitter, has shown in the past that he can handle first base as well and could be used in a sort of platoon with Bird. Brendan Ryan also has experience at first base, as does Austin Romine, a catcher by trade and who is one of the eighth minor-league players the Yankees promoted as rosters expanded Tuesday. Utility infielder Dustin Ackley is also experienced as a first baseman.
No matter how you look at it, Teixeira’s loss will be difficult for the Yankees to overcome, but they should not compound it with the notion that a 40-year-old DH who 130 games into the season has played only 35 innings in the field (10 at first base) might be part of the solution.
Now Yankees fans will find out just what kind of closer Dellin Betances can be. The strained left flexor mass muscle in Andrew Miller’s forearm that will send him to the 15-day disabled list has already had an effect on the Yankees because it was pretty much directly responsible for Wednesday’s 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Nationals that ended a season-long seven-game winning streak.
When the Yanks came back from a 2-0 deficit and scored four runs in the seventh inning, their usual back-end of the bullpen formula would seem to be in place — Betances for the eighth and Miller for the ninth.
Yet while the Yankees were running all around the bases, I kept looking at the bullpen and wondering why Betances was not loosening up. Instead, starter Nathan Eovaldi came out to begin the eighth and after giving up a leadoff single to Yunel Escobar was relieved by Jacob Lindgren and not Dellin Betances. I figured Betances was hurt. It turned out it was Miller who was hurt.
Lindgren got two outs but before he could get a third he gave up a game-tying, two-run home run to right field to Michael Taylor. Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth and Chris Capuano ditto in the 10th, but the Nationals got to Capuano in the 11th and took the lead on a two-out, infield single by Denard Span.
Three Washington relievers held the Yankees scoreless with one hit over the final four innings. Mark Teixeira had the only hit, in the 10th, and was removed for pinch runner Didi Gregorius, who was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
So the winning streak ended, but that turned out not to be the worst news of the day. Manager Joe Girardi explained after the game that Miller told him after Tuesday night’s victory that his forearm was stiffening, a condition that has lingered for the past week or so. Girardi has used Miller to pitch the ninth inning with the Yankees up 6-1 and therefore not a save situation. Miller had an MRI exam, which revealed the muscular strain.
The lefthander was not specific about how long his forearm was bothering him and said only that the condition “has been building. It has been harder for me to get loose. It has been tougher each times lately. It’s a fatigue issue.”
Miller has appeared in 26 of the Yankees’ 59 games for a total of 26 1/3 innings and has been brilliant by converting all 17 of his save opportunities and posting a 1.03 ERA. He and Betances have formed the best 1-2 bullpen combination in the majors.
“I feel like I am letting the guys down,” Miller said. “It’s better to take care of this now so I can be strong for the rest of the year.”
Girardi said that Miller will not throw at all for 10 days to two weeks, which means his stay on the DL will be longer than 15 days. While Betances, who has two saves and is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA, will slide into the closer role, the situations shortens the bridge from the starter to closer for the Yankees’ bullpen.
“Guys are going to have to step up,” Girardi said, noting that the staff lost Masahiro Tanaka for six weeks and got through it and just ran off seven straight victories and 11 of 14 without center fielder Jacob Ellsbury (strained right knee) in the lineup.
“It is unfortunate because Miller has gone a great job; he has been the best closer in the game,” Betances said. “I’ll have to take what I have been doing in the eighth into the ninth.”
Betances added that Girardi told him before Wednesday’s game that he would not use him despite the fact that the righthander pitched one inning Sunday, had Monday off, pitched one inning Tuesday night and Thursday is an open date. Betances noted that the Yankees have a long stretch of games coming up and that the manager said he wanted him to be fresh for that run of games for 20 straight games from June 12 through July 1, the last seven of which will be on a lengthy trip to Houston and Los Angeles.
There is also the possibility that after hearing of Miller’s injury Girardi felt concerned that he may have been over-working his late-inning combo. Betances has pitched 32 1/3 innings over 28 outings.
The Miller injury came on a day when the Yankees got healthier elsewhere. Utility infielder Brendan Ryan returned from the DL, started at shortstop and had a big day with a single and a run-scoring triple in the four-run seventh when it appeared the Yanks had the Nats just where they wanted them.
Phil Hughes was expected to benefit from pitching in spacious Petco Park Sunday in San Diego. It did not turn out that way.
The righthander entered the game with a 3-2 record and 3.02 ERA on the road this year compared to 1-7 with a 6.02 ERA at Yankee Stadium. He may have well been in the Bronx the way Sunday’s start turned out for Hughes, who was paired against former Yankees teammate Ian Kennedy.
Hughes and Kennedy came up through the Yankees’ system together and were even roommates at one time. Kennedy was traded to the Diamondbacks as part of the three-team deal that sent Curtis Granderson from Detroit to the Yankees. Hughes was an 18-game winner and an American League All-Star in 2010. Kennedy was a 21-game winner and finished fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2011. Yet both were involved in trade rumors this year. Hughes remained with the Yankees while Kennedy was dealt from Arizona to San Diego.
Making his first start for the Padres Sunday, Kennedy outpitched Hughes, who did not survive the third inning and remained winless in five starts since July 2. He put the Yankees in a 5-0 hole by the third inning while Kennedy pitched into the sixth to end his own losing streak that had stretched to 10 starts since June 1 (0-5, five no-decisions) with the 6-3 victory that gave San Diego the series and sent Hughes’ personal record to 4-10 with a 4.87 ERA.
The Yankees have gone a month since they won a series. Sunday’s loss brought them perilously close to a double-digit deficit in the AL East standings. The Yankees trail the first-place Red Sox by 9 ½ games and remain three games out of third place.
Hughes gave up five earned runs, six hits and three walks (one intentional) with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings, his second briefest outing of the season. The shortest was May 15 against the Mariners at the Stadium when he allowed seven earned runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning. Hughes was not nearly that bad, but he continued to have trouble finishing off hitters. Three of the runs off him came after two were out.
Kennedy (4-8) held the Yankees scoreless until two out in the sixth when he gave up two walks and two singles in succession that netted two runs. Granderson, who reached base four times with three walks and a single, drove in one of the runs with that hit.
The Yankees made it 6-3 on Austin Romine’s first career home run, a solo shot to left-center in the seventh off righthander Dale Thayer, but could not get any closer. Romine did not get the ball as a souvenir because someone in the Padres bullpen where it landed tossed it into the stands. Romine has been a bright spot for the Yankees of late. In his past eight games, the backup catcher has hit .476 with four doubles, one home run, four RBI and four walks in 21 at-bats to lift his season batting average from .132 to .213.
The Yankees got the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth inning against Padres closer Huston Street (21 saves), but pinch hitter Vernon Wells struck out.
It was a day filled with bad news for the Yankees. An MRI on Derek Jeter’s troublesome right calf revealed a Grade 1 strain which may result with the captain going on the disabled list again. Also, pitcher Michael Pineda reported stiffness in his surgical right shoulder after his two-inning stint for Triple A Scranton Saturday night and may have to be shut down.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman issued a statement Wednesday regarding reports that Alex Rodriguez had Dr. Michael Gross, an orthopedic surgeon from Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, review the MRI on the third baseman’s left quadriceps muscle.
“I heard via a text message this afternoon from Alex Rodriguez that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. In media reports, we have since learned that the doctor in question has acknowledged that he did not examine Mr. Rodriguez and that he was not retained to do a comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Rodriguez. Contrary to the Basic Agreement, Mr. Rodriguez did not notify us at any time that he was seeking a second opinion from any doctor with regard to his quad strain.
“As you know, it is the Yankees’ desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible. And we have done everything to try and accomplish this.
“As early as Friday, July 12, when I suggested to Alex that we move his rehab from Tampa to Triple-A Scranton [at Buffalo], Alex complained for the first time of ‘tightness’ in his quad and therefore refused to consent to the transfer of his assignment. Again, last Sunday, Alex advised that he had stiffness in his quad and should not play Sunday or Monday. We sent Alex to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI which evidenced a Grade 1 strain.
“As always, we will follow the rules and regulations set forth in the Basic Agreement, and will again re-evaluate Alex in Tampa [Thursday] as our goal is to return him to the lineup as soon as he is medically capable of doing so.”
Ready for more injuries, Yankees fans? Like it or not, there are a couple more.
Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees’ most reliable starting pitcher this season, will be skipped his next turn in the rotation because of a sore left hip flexor. Kuroda returned to New York to have an MRI examination that did not reveal any structural damage.
Although there is a possibility that the righthander could wind up on the 15-day disabled list if the condition does not improve, the only time he will miss at this point will be his next scheduled start, which was to be Friday night against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. That assignment will go instead to Ivan Nova.
One player who did end up on the DL Wednesday was infielder Jayson Nix because of a right hamstring strain. Nix, who has been alternating between shortstop and third base because of the injuries to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis and Eduardo Nunez, was unable to play Tuesday night. The Yankees were hopeful it would be a day-to-day situation but decided not to push it. That makes 14 players totaling 17 stints on the DL for the Yankees this year.
Nix, who is batting .236 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 20 RBI in 73 games and 237 at-bats, was supposed to be a utility infielder for the Yankees this year but was pressed into starting 65 of their first 82 games.
Taking Nix’s place on the 25-man roster was infielder Luis Cruz, whom the Yankees signed as a free agent. Cruz, 29, appeared in 45 games this year with the Dodgers before being designated for assignment June 28. He batted .127 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI in 118 at-bats. Cruz made 30 starts (20 at third base and 10 at shortstop) and committed just three errors in 136 total chances in all games.
A native of Mexico, Cruz, who bats and throws right-handed, is a career .240 (133-for-555) hitter with 26 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 52 RBI in 179 games and 555 at-bats over parts of five seasons with the Pirates, (2008-09), Brewers (2010) and Dodgers (2012-13). Last year, he set career highs in batting average (.297), runs (26), at-bats (283), hits (84), doubles (20), home runs (six), RBI (40), on-base percentage (.322) and slugging (.431).
Cruz has appeared at five different positions in the majors – 81 games (68 starts) at shortstop, 79 (68) at third base, nine (eight) at second base and one game apiece as a defensive replacement in left field and at first base. He has made only 10 errors in 600 chances in 1,318 2/3 career innings in the field. Cruz was voted Most Valuable Player of the Mexican Winter League in 2011 when he hit .340 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 62 games with Tomateros de Culiacan. He was also on Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2006.
Originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent Aug. 23, 2000, Cruz was acquired by the Padres Dec. 16, 2002 in a trade for infielder Cesar Crespo. Cruz played five seasons in San Diego’s minor-league system from 2003-07.
The Twins also added a player to their DL. Josh Willingham, who did not play Monday or Tuesday night, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday to repair a medial meniscus tear and bone bruise in his left knee.
Pitcher Chris Bootcheck and outfielder Thomas Neal of the Yankees’ Triple A Scranton affiliate were named to the International League’s All-Star team earlier Wednesday. Scranton manager Dave Miley will pilot the IL squad for the record-tying third time when they play the Pacific Coast League All-Stars July 17 at Reno, Nev.