ARLINGTON, Texas — The Yankees’ top pitching prospect is ailing.
The club announced Monday that righthander James Kaprielian, who had been lights-out in his first three starts with Class A Tampa in the Florida State League, will be placed on the minor-league disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.
He was seen Monday in New York by team physician Chris Ahmad, and an MRI showed the inflammation. The Yankees said Kaprielian, 22, will be “treated conservatively” with rest and a throwing program. No timetable was given.
“The MRI came out good for us,” manager Joe Girardi said, meaning the test showed no structural damage. “We’ll be cautious because we can. I think it’s important that we’re cautious. But it’s always a concern.”
Kaprielian, 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA, was the Yankees’ first-round draft pick last June. He has 22 strikeouts and three walks in 18 innings this season, with his fastball reaching 99 mph, according to several outside talent evaluators. He is considered a “fast-tracker,” a player who could reach the Bronx before the end of the season.
“He should be fine,” Girardi said. “So what you maybe do, you take a little bit longer than you might if he was in the big leagues and you needed to get him back in your rotation.”
Coke is it
The Yankees acquired lefthander Phil Coke from the Atlantic League. Coke, 33, was chosen by the Yankees in the 26th round of the 2002 draft and pitched for them from 2008-09 before being sent to the Tigers as part of a three-team trade that brought back Curtis Granderson. Coke will be assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Girardi said righthander Branden Pinder (right elbow) will undergo Tommy John surgery Tuesday. It will be performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida . . . With Carlos Beltran, 39, having played six straight games, Dustin Ackley made his first career start in rightfield Monday night. He had played there twice in his career and has started 173 games in leftfield and 62 games in centerfield.