We’ll start today with three pretty significant injury updates
After having the last of three medical examinations, the Yankees Opening Day starter will opt for arthroscopic surgery to clean up his right knee. He will, for now, avoid the micro-fracture surgery that carries signficant long-term risk. Dodgers team physician Neal ElAttrache will perform the debridement procedure on July 23.
General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees could have tried to simply drain the knee again and hope for better results than last time, but they’d already been down that road.
“We just went through that and it didn’t work,” Cashman said. “So it’s like, do you want to try again on something that just failed or do you just want to go to the next step and try to get it taken care and hopefully have a better storyline next year. But there’s no guarantee.”
Having received his PRP injection, Tanaka is now waiting for the symptoms in his right elbow to completely subside before he begins a throwing program. Right now, he can still feel it when he does “certain motions,” but he does feel himself getting gradually better.
“It was not soreness, it was pain,” Tanaka said. “That’s why I said something to the trainers. It wasn’t something that was normal, that’s why I had to talk to the trainers and let them know it was something that was not normal. … I still feel it, so it’s gradually getting better but I do still feel it.”
Cashman said that the Yankees have been told the injection-rest-rehab protocol could heal the small ligament tear, or it might simply make the situation symptom-free. Either way, the Yankees are hopeful that this will be more than a short-term fix. Cashman wouldn’t give names, but he said the Yankees have pitchers in their organization who are as many as five years beyond this same procedure and have no problems ever since.
“I think they talked about three weeks of him not throwing before he started to do stuff,” manager Joe Girardi said. “So it’s only been four days, and he got a shot in there, obviously, and he probably feels that as well. You have to give him some time.”
Still trying to work his way back from that shoulder/back injury that sent him to the disabled list in early May, Pineda has been throwing bullpens in Tampa and seems to be making positive steps. Cashman said the Yankees are still hopeful that they’ll have Pineda back sometime in August.
The rehab process has reached a point that the Yankees have dates in mind, but Cashman wouldn’t announce them.
“He’s throwing very well,” Cashman said. “Larry actually, I think, saw him throw a bullpen down in Florida during the break. He’s doing very well. He’s going through his throwing progression right now. We have actually dates in play that we’re shooting for, but I’d rather not reveal what they are just yet because it seems like once you put them out there, then you have to alter them. Hopefully he’ll be back for us in August.”
• Carlos Beltran is back in the lineup and said he never really felt like he had a true concussion. “The team was concerned about it, that I was going to have one,” Beltran said. “I didn’t feel nothing. No dizzy, no nothing.” Per MLB rules, Beltran had to pass a series of tests before coming off the concussion DL.
• No word on when Beltran will resume a throwing program with an eye toward getting back into right field, but the Yankees haven’t given up on that happening at some point this season. “It’s something we’re talking about with the doctors,” Girardi said.
• Obviously the Yankees first three second-half starters were set before the break — David Phelps tonight, followed by Brandon McCarthy and Hiroki Kuroda — but Girardi announced today that Shane Greene will start on Monday and Chase Whitley will start on Tuesday.
• No need to open a roster spot for Beltran because Bryan Mitchell was technically optioned to Triple-A early in the week. He’d been called up to give the Yankees an extra pitcher that last day in Baltimore. Essentially, Beltran is replacing Zoilo Almonte, who went down when Mitchell came up.
• Girardi on the All-Star treatment of Derek Jeter: “I thought it was great,” Girardi said. “How it was handled, just everything involved. It was a very good game, too, as well. The interview during the game — just how everything was handled. I just thought it was great.”
• The Yankees have a losing record at home this season, and in the second half, they have the most home games of any team in baseball. It’s crucial that the Yankees start winning at home. “We better play better at home or we better go undefeated on the road,” Girardi said. “One or the other.”
Associated Press photos