UPDATE: Yankees manager Joe Girardi hinted that Whitley is dealing with a major injury. He also said that Whitley has been dealing with an elbow injury for a while, but kept it from the team and tried to pitch through it.
9:49 p.m. ET: Yankees right-hander Chase Whitley left tonight’s start against the Rays with what has been termed as a right elbow injury. Meredith Marakovits of YES Network reports that he’ll go for an MRI in Tampa tomorrow to determine the severity.
Whitley, who has been filling in for the injured Masahiro Tanaka, exited the game in the bottom of the second inning. He ended up being charged with three runs on two hits and two walks and now owns a 4.19 ERA through four starts.
Chris Capuano is nearing his return from a right quad strain, so it’s possible that Whitley would have been bumped from the rotation after this start anyway. The Yankees could have some other options soon, as Tanaka has resumed throwing bullpen sessions and Ivan Nova is close to a rehab assignment as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.