Pitching help from David Phelps, Michael Pineda not on the horizon
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CHICAGO - The Yankees' pitching, so good most of the season, is struggling.
And Brian Cashman said before Tuesday night's game don't expect help to arrive from the minors any time soon.
The general manager said RHP David Phelps, recovering on the DL from a right forearm strain, will be shut down for at least two weeks after a new strain was found in his right elbow area. RHP Michael Pineda, who made it through his year-plus of rehab from labrum surgery in his right shoulder, won't throw for 7-10 days because of stiffness in the shoulder.
Tests done on Pineda didn't show any kind of new injury, but that wasn't the case for Phelps, who has been on the DL since July 5.
"It's something he felt he could have pitched through but he was pressed on the issue before his last rehab start," Cashman said. "He started doing some extra icing and maintenance that we're not used to seeing him do so we pressed him on it . . . and he fessed up that 'I'm feeling something a little bit.' So that's when we pulled the plug and did the MRI [Monday] and it showed a very small forearm strain."
With the difficulties of the big-league staff -- excluding Hiroki Kuroda, of course -- the last six weeks, having Phelps and/or Pineda would have been a help in keeping the Yankees within striking distance of the AL wild card.
"The most important thing with Phelps and Pineda is to be healthy but that's also two choices we thought we were going to have that we don't have," Cashman said. "So yeah I am concerned about the pitching. A., we have to keep the staff healthy and B., we have to keep them productive."
Joe Girardi strongly indicated Robinson Cano should have made second base in Monday night's first inning after blooping a single into left, then getting thrown out trying to stretch.
"I think it's important to run hard, I do," Girardi said. "Any time you hit a ball like that I think you have to bust it because it's a possible double."
Girardi benched Cano for not hustling in his first season as manager in 2008 and, asked if Monday's play was the type that might compel him to have a discussion with the second baseman, didn't answer.
"If it was, I probably wouldn't tell you," Girardi said.
Cashman said he doesn't expect the Grade 1 right calf strain that landed Derek Jeter on the DL Monday to last nearly as long as the similar injury that sidelined the shortstop for nearly three weeks in 2011.
Still, "one step at a time," Cashman said.
"It's an unfortunate circumstance," he continued. "Once that heals we'll get him going again . . . I feel bad for him and therefore bad for us. We're not able to run a great player out there."