Carlos Beltran's disappointing first season as a Yankee may be over.
Already without the injured Brett Gardner and Martin Prado, the Yankees lost Beltran Wednesday night when he was scratched from the lineup with a recurrence of right elbow soreness.
Beltran had been slated to bat cleanup as the designated hitter against the Rays. He was removed from the lineup about two hours before game time. Derek Jeter moved from shortstop to DH and Brendan Ryan started at short.
Beltran has been plagued for months with a bone spur in his elbow that eventually will require surgery. He has had three cortisone shots and cannot have another. If he's not able to play after a few days of rest, Beltran will have season-ending surgery.
"I probably will give myself two or three days," Beltran said after the Yankees' 8-5 win over the Rays. "See if I can be able to go out and swing like I do. If I'm not able to, have the surgery."
Beltran, 37, is batting .236 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. The Yankees signed him to a three-year, $45-million deal before the season to provide pop in the middle of the order.
"It's been frustrating," he said, "but it is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it."
The Yankees already were without Gardner, who has an abdominal strain, and Prado, who has a hamstring strain.
Prado took batting practice but was told to refrain from running. He injured the hamstring Sept. 2 and tried to play through it last weekend.
"I tried to play like that and it didn't work out well," Prado said. "So I'm just worried about my health and not getting that thing worse."
Gardner has been out since Friday and will need at least a few more days.