The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pregame notes: Yankees puzzled by Chamberlain’s injury

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Jun 09, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I’m going to have to make this pretty quick because I still have a ton of interview stuff to listen through and a lot of words to write for the newspaper. You already know the basics: A dye contrast MRI today showed that Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow. Chamberlain said he broke down in tears soon after hearing the news.

It’s not certain that Chamberlain will have Tommy John surgery, but that seems unavoidable. The MRI results are being sent to Dr. James Andrews.

Chamberlain and the Yankees are perplexed. He never felt the ligament tear and his only symptom is some tightness after throwing. Chamberlain’s velocity has been good and he’s been able to throwing breaking balls, which usually cause pitchers considerable pain when they need Tommy John. Chamberlain also has no problem doing little things — opening a door, twisting off the cap of a water bottle — which usually cause some discomfort for Tommy John candidates.

“Joba must have a high pain threshold,” Joe Girardi said. “In the future, if he was to say something, you would have to say it might be worse than he is leading on. I’m watching him do things today, things that are supposed to bother a guy that needs Tommy John. It’s not bothering him at all. The lesson to be learned: The body’s an interesting thing.”

Chamberlain showed up heavier than usual in spring training, but his arm was never an issue, and both Girardi and Brian Cashman said they don’t believe Chamberlain’s offseason conditioning is to blame for the current problem. He’s pitched well this season, but the pitching seems to have cost him his elbow.

Cashman said no trade market has emerged for a reliever — “Not to my knowledge,” he said — and while the Yankees will look into the organization for potential help, Cashman said Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos are not options. Brackman’s not pitching well enough, and Betances and Banuelos aren’t ready.

Here’s Girardi.

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UPDATE, 6:40 p.m.: No first-pitch time announced, but the Yankees and Red Sox will start in a delay.

• Phil Hughes pitched two innings in extended spring training today. Because it was in a game, the Yankees had a radar gun on him and Hughes was 90-92 with his fastball. That seems pretty encouraging for a guy at this stage of his rehab. “A lot of 92s,” Girardi said.

• Hughes will start in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday.

• Russell Martin had an MRI that showed no structural damage in his back. “He’s slightly improved from yesterday,” Girardi said. “But not enough to go.” Martin said he felt bad this morning, but his back has felt better as the day has progressed. He wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to play tomorrow.

• Cashman revealed that the Yankees finally diagnosed Mark Prior with a hernia. He could be headed for surgery. Obviously he’s not an option to fill Chamberlain’s spot.

UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Nevermind, the Yankees just clarified to say that Prior was tested for a sports hernia but those tests came back negative. He’s out with an abdominal and groin strain.

• Speaking of relievers: Pedro Feliciano has begun playing catch, but Rafael Soriano has not. “We’re still a ways away,” Girardi said.

• Jorge Posada said everything went well with his son’s surgery. This was his son’s ninth surgery, and it’s supposed to be the last one. “But they said that the last time,” Posada said. Posada got home from the hospital around 9 p.m. and checked the score of the Yankees game, but he didn’t watch it because his son wanted Posada to lie in bed with him after the surgery, so Posada stayed there and fell asleep next to his little boy.

• Tarp is on the field. Looks like this game might not start on time.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Marco Scutaro 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
David Ortiz DH
Jed Lowrie SS
Carl Crawford LF
Mike Cameron RF
Jason Varitek C

Associated Press photo




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