Yankees place Kevin Youkilis on DL, recall Corban Joseph from Triple-A

NEW YORK – The Yankees have placed infielder Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, replacing him on the active roster with infielder Corban Joseph.

Youkilis had missed eight of the Yankees’ last nine games with the persistent back issue. Manager Joe Girardi said that an MRI taken on Youkilis was negative, but Youkilis was scheduled to receive an epidural injection on Tuesday to relieve discomfort.

Telling the Yankees he felt ready to play, Youkilis returned to action against the Blue Jays on Saturday but felt more discomfort in his back after waking up on Sunday.

“It was just one of those things waking up, and I didn’t feel right,” Youkilis said before Monday’s game. “Sometimes, after your adrenaline’s gone, things occur to you. We’ve just got to find out what’s going on.”

The 34-year-old Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Yankees and was expected to hold down third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, who is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Youkilis was batting .266 with two homers and seven RBIs in 17 games.

Joseph, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was batting .273 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games. A fourth-round selection by the Yankees in the 2008 Draft, Joseph has played mostly second base in the Minors and will be making his Major League debut.

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