It sounds like Curtis Granderson will beat both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back from the disabled list, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi said yesterday that the center fielder is “probably pretty close” to returning from a fractured right wrist.
There’s no official timetable yet for Granderson’s return, but after talking to Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman the best guess from Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York is May 15.
For that to happen he’d likely to have to begin a minor-league rehab assignment at some point this week, because Granderson has indicated that he’d like around 50 at-bats to get ready. Granderson was initially given a 10-week recovery timetable on March 22, so he’s more or less on that track.
UPDATE: It’s official. Youkilis has been DL’d. They’re calling his injury a “lumbar spine sprain.” Called up to replace him on the roster is Corban Joseph.
11:03 AM: Kevin Youkilis has had a bad back for a week, though he did tough it out enough to play on Saturday. Yesterday he underwent an MRI. It came back negative, but he’s scheduled to receive an epidural injection today. Jon Heyman says that the Yankees can’t wait for him to come around any longer and are likely to place him on the disabled list.
Given his recent history this can’t be terribly unexpected. Youk is hitting .266/.347/.422 with two homers and seven RBI on the season.
Kevin Youkilis is back in the Yankees’ lineup this afternoon for the first time in a week, reports Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.
Youkilis missed his sixth straight game yesterday due to lower back tightness, which led to a potential stint on the disabled list, but he was cleared to return after he made it through batting practice this afternoon without incident. He’s starting at first base this afternoon against the Blue Jays while Jayson Nix is playing third.
Youkilis is hitting .259 (17-for-61) with two homers, seven RBI and a .796 OPS through 16 games this season. Due to a wide variety of injuries, the 34-year-old has averaged just 120 games played over the past four seasons.
At this rate, the Yankees might run out of players. Two more players are headed to the infirmary as pitcher Ivan Nova and catcher Francisco Cervelli both exited tonight’s game against the Blue Jays with injuries.
Cervelli hurt his hand on a foul ball from Jays batter Rajai Davis in the first inning, per ESPN’s Andrew Marchand. He initially stayed in the game but was eventually replaced by Chris Stewart.
Update (8:25 PM): It’s a broken hand for Cervelli, per Jon Heyman.
Update (8:35 PM): Surgery will be required, knocking Cervelli out at least six weeks, tweets Marchand.
Nova left in the fifth inning after Davis hit a ground ball up the middle for a hit. The ball did not appear to hit Nova, but he was visited by the team trainer and left immediately without throwing any warm-up pitches, according to Yankees blog River Ave Blues. He was replaced by David Phelps.
Update (8:35 PM): Nova left with pain in his right elbow, and will have an MRI per Marchand.
The Yankees already have three players on the 60-day DL and three on the 15-day DL as well as Kevin Youkilis, who may wind up on the DL in the coming days. Despite the adversity, though, the Yankees have persevered, entering tonight’s game with a 12-9 record.
Kevin Youkilis missed his fifth straight game yesterday with a back injury that was initially only expected to cost him a day or two.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Youkilis tried to take batting practice before last night’s game, but his lower back was too stiff. Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Hoch that Youkilis could be placed on the disabled list if he’s not ready to play Saturday, but added that “we believe that he’s going to be back within 15 days.”
Youkilis was off to a good start before the back problems flared up, hitting .279 with a .796 OPS in 16 games, but he had an uncharacteristically bad 17/3 K/BB ratio. Youkilis has missed at least 40 games in each the past three seasons and hasn’t played more than 140 games since 2008.