As first reported by Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Yankees have placed utilityman Eduardo Nunez on the 15-day disabled list with a rib cage injury. Alberto Gonzalez has been called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the vacant roster spot and Mark Teixeira was shifted to the 60-day disabled list as a procedural move.
Teixeira is still on track to return around early June.
Nunez has been bothered by tightness in his rib cage since early last week. An MRI taken last Monday morning ruled out any significant structural damage, but the 25-year-old still isn’t feeling quite right.
The move was made retroactive to May 6, so Nunez can return in less than 10 days. He has batted .200/.290/.275 with no homers in 95 plate appearances this season while playing primarily at shortstop.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.