Corey Kluber, diagnosed Wednesday with a subscap strain in his right shoulder, will be out a minimum of two months.
And the Yankees are likely looking at something similar for Luke Voit, diagnosed Wednesday with a Grade 2 right oblique strain.
Manager Aaron Boone disclosed both rather somber diagnoses late Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the Yankees’ game vs. the Blue Jays was postponed because of impending thunderstorms (the game is slated to be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader starting Thursday afternoon at 4:05).
Indeed, the Yankees have had better days when it comes to injury news, and this is increasingly the case across the sport.
In the case of Kluber, who left Tuesday night’s start with tightness in his shoulder, he will almost assuredly be out far longer than Voit.
Kluber, slated to get a follow-up dye-cast MRI "just to rule anything else out," Boone said, won’t pick up a ball for four weeks. If the righthander is able to resume throwing then – far from a certainty – his buildup would take a minimum of four weeks, making the absolute best-case scenario for his return the last week of July.
The news wasn’t necessarily expected to be good – and it wasn’t – though Kluber, speaking after Tuesday’s game, indicated the discomfort was "totally different" than what he felt in the shoulder last year when his season ended after one inning having suffered a Grade 2 tear of the teres major muscle in the back of his shoulder.
"I wouldn’t say alarmed at this point," Kluber said. "Wish we knew more . . . have to wait until tomorrow . . . [but] it doesn’t feel at all like what I felt last year."
It remains to be seen exactly how long Kluber, whose new injury is in the rotator cuff area of the shoulder, will be out, and if it ultimately will be a season-ending injury.
But the Yankees will proceed under the assumption it will be a while. Top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, up and down in his performance all season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was scheduled, Boone said, to pitch this weekend in Detroit against the Tigers regardless as the Yankees are in the midst of a stretch of 13 straight games. Now Garcia, barring a pitching acquisition of some kind from the outside, unlikely at this time of year, could get a crack at sticking in the rotation. The same goes for Michael King, another of the club’s top pitching prospects who has shuttled this season between the bullpen and Scranton. The Yankees also hope to get Luis Severino, recovering from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in February 2020, back at some point in the season’s second half, and him returning before Kluber is something that can’t be ruled out.
"[It will be] next-man-up," Boone said. "We’ll have to pick up the slack for him [Kluber], obviously, and hope that he’s able to rejoin the rotation at some point in the future."
Voit, meanwhile, never got his bat going since coming off the IL May 11, hitting .182 with one homer and a .530 OPS in 12 games (Voit started the season on the IL recovering from surgery in late March to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee). Boone did not give a timeframe but Aaron Judge, who in April 2019 suffered what the Yankees then called a Grade 2 strain of his left oblique, missed 54 games.
Boone said he is "eyeing" Friday in Detroit for Giancarlo Stanton, on the IL since May 14 with a left quad strain, to be activated…Lefty reliever Zack Britton appeared to come through his bullpen session Wednesday OK, and he remains on target to start a rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Somerset.