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Back issues keep Chase Headley out until at least Sunday

Chase Headley strikes out in the second inning

Chase Headley strikes out in the second inning against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Chase Headley received an epidural in his back Thursday night, which will keep the third baseman out until at least Sunday, Joe Girardi said.

Until then, Girardi said, the club will be “rolling the dice a little bit,” and not make a move to bring up a reserve infielder, with backup catcher Austin Romine filling that role for the time being.

“He took some ground balls at third [Thursday],” Girardi said of Romine, who has only played catcher and a bit of first base (three starts) in his career.

Girardi said if something happened to second baseman Starlin Castro, for example, he would move Ronald Torreyes, who has been starting at third, to second, and shift Romine to third. Same for Didi Gregorius.

Yankee starters have not provided a lot of length the last couple of weeks, which has taxed a bullpen that has struggled as well.

The club’s rationale in rolling the dice is “we’re trying to keep the pitching,” Girardi said.

The Yankees sent down utility man Rob Refsnyder on Thursday and brought up lefthander Tyler Webb, who can provide multiple innings if need be.

And if the bullpen gets further taxed Friday or Saturday?

“It’s kind of day by day,” Girardi said. “Those are the discussions we’ve had last night, today. It’s kind of based on need. We’ll see.”

Headley said he first started feeling an issue with his back during the Yankees four-game series in Toronto June 1-4, with the spasms starting Thursday, which kept him out of that night’s game against the Angels.

“It kind of locked up on me,” said Headley, who added he doesn’t believe it’s a disc-related problem. “But I feel much better today.”

Ellsbury improving

Girardi said Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion), who took on-field BP a third straight day Friday, should be ready to start a rehab assignment “pretty soon,” though he didn’t specify.

New York Sports