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.”
UPDATED 2:07 p.m. ET
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson was hit on the right forearm by a pitch in his first plate appearance of the spring and was forced to leave Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays.
Granderson was drilled by an inside pitch from Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ in the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The club announced that Granderson suffered a bruised right forearm and was sent to Dr. Daniel Murphy for precautionary X-rays.
The 31-year-old Granderson played the top half of the first inning in left field, as the Yankees plan to gauge the experiment of having Granderson shift to left field this spring with Brett Gardner taking over duties in center field.
Granderson hit a team-leading 43 homers for New York last season, batting .232 with 106 RBIs in 160 games.
ST. PETERSBURG – As if it wasn’t troublesome enough for the Yankees that Robinson Cano couldn’t flag down Chris Gimenez’s go-ahead hit on Monday, the play came with an added dash of injury concern.
Cano said that he felt his left hip grab as he chased Gimenez’s slow roller through the right side of the infield, which gave the Rays a 4-3 eighth-inning lead that they would hold for the victory.
After receiving treatment from head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, Cano said he was not sure if he will be available to play on Tuesday.
“Right when I tried to bend, my left foot just came straight up and I felt my hip,” Cano said. “It will be hopefully just nothing bad. … It’s tight right now. Hopefully nothing bad or anything.”
In Cano’s eighth-inning at-bat, he neglected to run hard out of the box on a line drive to third baseman Evan Longoria, but he said that was unrelated to any injuries. Cano said he simply believed Longoria had caught the line drive on the fly and then started running when he realized that wasn’t the case.
On Gimenez’s go-ahead hit, Cano said that he was trying to reach for the ball and had a good shot at it, but the ball went under his glove. He said that he would have dove for the ball if the play had been tougher, but Cano didn’t think it was necessary at the time.
“If it was every farther, yeah, of course [he would have dove],” Cano said. “You’ve got to keep the ball in the infield, but if you see the replay, [the hip is] why the ball went under my glove.”
As he spoke to reporters on Monday evening, Cano said that he had already iced the hip and that while he is concerned, he does not believe the injury is very serious.
“I didn’t hear anything pop, thank God,” Cano said. “[We’ll] see what happens tomorrow.”
Here is the official word from the Yankees:
RHP Ivan Nova was seen today in New York City by Dr. Christopher Ahmad and underwent an MRI at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
He has been diagnosed with inflammation in his right rotator cuff, and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Treatment will consist of medicine and rest. He will not play catch for five days.