Carlos Beltran has played 17 games for the Yankees since returning from the disabled list for bone spurs in his elbow that may require surgery eventually, but they’ve all been at designated hitter and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Beltran tweaked his elbow while doing some throwing at Yankee Stadium over the weekend and the 37-year-old has been shut down from throwing for the foreseeable future.
That’s not a huge problem, because the Yankees have standout defenders Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner in center field and left field, and they can use Ichiro Suzuki or Alfonso Soriano in right field. Of bigger concern is that Beltran has hit just .177 with a .585 OPS in 17 games since coming off the DL.
In the first season of a three-year, $45 million deal Beltran has hit .216 with seven homers and a .673 OPS in 50 games overall, which is a 150-point drop in OPS from his 2013 production with the Cardinals.
Alfonso Soriano began the season as the Yankees’ everyday designated hitter and Ichiro Suzuki began the season on the Yankees’ bench, but now they’re being platooned in right field … at a combined salary of $25 million.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has decided to play Soriano almost exclusively versus left-handed pitching because at age 38 he’s really struggled versus right-handers this season. On the flip side, Girardi has decided to give Suzuki the heavy portion of the platoon, playing him versus right-handers, because at age 40 he’s hitting .309 with a .371 on-base percentage.
It’s a solid platoon situation, if not for the fact that both players are big names making big money, but that isn’t as much of an issue for the Yankees as it might be for other teams and, in Soriano’s case, the Cubs still are on the hook for most of his salary anyway.
Masahiro Tanaka stopped Oakland’s winning streak at five and notched his ninth win of the season as the Yankees prevailed 2-1 over the Athletics this afternoon.
Tanaka wasn’t at his most efficient — he needed 104 pitches over six innings — but he held Oakland to one earned run and lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.02. In all he gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one. After a John Jaso first inning homer, Tanaka retired 10 straight batters. Also of note: Alfonso Soriano broke an 0-for-16 slump with an RBI single in the second.
The Yankees’ homestand finishes up at 2-6. But at least they get on an airplane happy.
Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud is back on the active roster after spending two weeks on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
He returns after playing three minor-league rehab games at Double-A, where he went 1-for-8 with a homer and most importantly reported feeling no further post-concussion symptoms.
d’Arnaud hit just .196 with three homers and a .588 OPS in 31 games before being hit on the catcher’s mask by Alfonso Soriano’s backswing on May 13.
Anthony Recker got most of the action behind the plate in d’Arnaud’s absence, with Juan Centeno backing him up, but d’Arnaud figures to resume being the Mets’ primary catcher.
From Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com …
NEW YORK — Travis d’Arnaud is expected to be activated from the disabled list for Wednesday’s matinee series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sandy Alderson said.
D’Arnaud is due to play a third and final rehab game with Binghamton on Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old catcher has been on the shelf since getting struck on his helmet by Alfonso Soriano’s backswing during a May 13 game at Yankee Stadium. D’Arnaud is 1-for-7 so far on his rehab assignment and was batting just .196/.274/.314 in 31 games for the Mets prior to suffering the head injury.
D’Arnaud was a big part of the December 2012 trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays.
He batted .328/.402/.588 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI in 86 career games at Triple-A.