Taylor Dugas said he was watching last night’s Yankees game in the Double-A clubhouse when Carlos Beltran was pulled with a ribcage injury. Dugas saw it happen, talked about it with his teammates, and it never occurred to him that his door to the big leagues had just opened. It was around 1 o’clock in the morning that he got the call.
First person Dugas called was his father.
“He didn’t really believe me, I don’t think,” Dugas said.
Clearly this is an unusual situation. If the Yankees knew Beltran’s injury were going to require a disabled list stint, they surely would have recalled Ramon Flores, but Flores can’t come up yet without putting someone on the DL, and the Yankees aren’t sure they need to do that with Beltran. Basically, they need an extra position player to fill out the bench for a game or two, and Dugas fits the role, despite his ugly numbers in the minors and the fact he wasn’t even invited to big league camp.
“We paid attention,” Joe Girardi said. “He had a tremendous year last year, a guy who really grinds out at-bats and plays hard. We knew who he was.”
This call-up might last only a game. If Beltran’s legitimately hurt, Flores will surely return, and there’s a solid chance Jacoby Ellsbury will be ready by Friday. Right now, the Yankees are hoping Beltran will also be available on Friday. Beltran said he’s ready to test his ribcage/oblique mid-game to see if he’s available to pinch hit, but Girardi said he’ll only ask Beltran to do that if absolutely necessary.
Ideally, the Yankees would like to give Beltran tonight and tomorrow off, then reevaluate the situation.
“Today I woke up feeling better,” Beltran said. “We do some tests, movement. I just feel like tight, but I don’t feel the pain I feel when I took the swing. Of course, I have to go to the cage and test it out.”
For now, the Yankees have their extra outfielder. On Friday, they’ll figure out if they need something more than a temporary placeholder.
“That’s a good sign that (Beltran) doesn’t wake up and feel really sore,” Girardi said. “So we won’t make any move concerning him, and we’ll see what happens in a couple days when we get back.”
• To make room on the roster — both the 25-man and the 40-man — Esmil Rogers has once against been outrighted to Triple-A. He’s off the 40-man again, which is surely good news for Bryan Mitchell and Nick Rumbelow, who get to stick around at least a little longer.
• As planned, Andrew Miller threw 20 pitches in the bullpen this afternoon. “Very good,” Larry Rothschild said. “He threw the ball well. First time on the mound, everything was good.”
• Up next for Miller: Another bullpen on Saturday, then possibly a rehab assignment. The Yankees are still hopeful that he’ll be back before the All-Star break. “I would hope so, but we’ve got to make sure (he’s ready),” Rothschild said. “It’s not worth risking one time out before the break to take a chance, but if everything is on schedule and he’s comfortable facing hitters, it’s a possibility.”
• Jacoby Ellsbury is back in the Tampa lineup playing center field. He’s scheduled to play five or six innings, then he’ll play again on Thursday. The Yankees still think it’s possible Ellsbury could be back on Friday. “As I’ve said all along, we’ll just see how he feels and where he feels he’s at, and then we’ll make an evaluation,” Girardi said. “His legs are extremely important, and we have to make sure he feels that he can do everything that he needs to do, and that you can run him out day after day.”
• Beltran will have some tests done in New York, either Thursday or Friday.
• Dugas had a 7 a.m. flight out of Philedelphia. As you might suspect from a guy who was hitting .200 in Double-A, Dugas didn’t think he was on the radar for a call-up. “I can’t say I was expecting it,” he said. “I was kind of in awe, getting that phone call for the first time. It’s a feeling that is hard to explain. Until you go through it, I was just sitting there in shock with a couple of my roommates. It was an awesome feeling, I’ll say that.”
Associated Press photos