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.
A double whammy for the Yankees here tonight in the Bronx:
- Francisco Cervelli has a fractured right hand and will require surgery. He will miss a minimum of six weeks, the Yankees said. Cervelli suffered the injury when he was hit by a foul top off the bat of Toronto’s Rajai Davis in the top of the first inning.
- Ivan Nova left tonight’s game in the third inning with right elbow pain. He has been scheduled for a MRI tonight.
As always, more updates as soon as we have them.
NEW YORK – Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova exited Friday’s game against the Blue Jays in the third inning with an apparent injury on what has developed into a troublesome night for the home team at Yankee Stadium.
Nova’s final pitch of the evening came on a ball that was hit back up the middle by Rajai Davis for a single. The ball did not hit Nova, but the hurler grimaced and confirmed an injury to head athletic trainer Steve Donohue. Nova gave the ball to manager Joe Girardi, his work done after two-plus innings pitched.
David Phelps relieved Nova on what was a short night for the Yankees’ battery. Catcher Francisco Cervelli lasted just five pitches before he was hit with a Davis foul tip in the first inning, suffering an injury to his right hand. Chris Stewart took over the catching duties for New York.
The Yankees have not yet announced details of either injury, but catcher Austin Romine was lifted mid-inning from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s game against Syracuse, an indication that Cervelli’s injury could be substantial.
The Yankees had been getting early production from Cervelli, who hit his third home run of the season in Thursday’s 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays. He is batting .269 with three doubles and eight RBIs in 17 games.
Yankees reliever Clay Rapada is likely to begin the season on the disabled list as he returns from left shoulder bursitis.
Rapada threw 15 fastballs from the mound on Friday, but said that he needs to be able to pitch effectively three or four days in a row to help the big league club. Rapada believes he is about a week or two behind and expects to be ready in April.
“I can be a small piece to the winning puzzle, but if I’m not fully recovered I don’t want to set back the team more,” Rapada said. “If I can’t go back to back days, I feel like I’d put a lot more strain. I don’t feel like I’m very far off, but I don’t expect it to be long.”
Rapada, 32, was 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 70 appearances for New York last season, spanning 38 1/3 innings. Rapada’s injury figures to improve the chances of right-handers Cody Eppley or Shawn Kelley making the Opening Day roster, and Girardi also said that left-hander Vidal Nuno could be a possibility.
Kevin Youkilis has been scratched from today’s Yankees lineup against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. with what the team has called a sore left oblique.
Manager Joe Girardi said that he does not believe the injury is anything serious, and expects Youkilis to be re-evaluated in a couple of days. Youkilis said that he is not concerned and would be playing if it were the regular season; he called it more of a cramp above his left hip and not a strain.
“Basically, yesterday I had a little cramp,” Youkilis said. “That just turned into, we’re going to be precautionary. I’m fine. I could play today and I’m perfectly fine, but they were just like, ‘No, we’re going to sit you out.'”
Youkilis said that he was moving around fine this morning.
“It’s one of those things where, I think after I swung yesterday and running and all that, it was hot and I got a little dehydrated,” Youkilis said. “When I got water in me, I was fine. Being a month away from games and all that, they just wanted to take it precautionary. I wanted to play today and was perfectly fine to play, and didn’t feel like there was any risk.”