The Yankees are bracing for the worst as top pitching prospect James Kaprielian was diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain of his right elbow Tuesday by team doctor Christopher Ahmad.
Kaprielian, 22, was the Yankees’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft. He pitched in three games this season for Single-A Tampa before going on the disabled list on April 25 with elbow inflammation. He has not pitched since.
The Yankees announced that Kaprielian will be examined by Los Angeles-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache within the next week.
The Yankees felt Kaprielian was so advanced in his second pro season that he may have zoomed to the big leagues this year. Even owner Hal Steinbrenner kept tabs on his progress as he attempted to come back from his injury.
Girardi has no comment on rain delay
Joe Girardi had no interest on Tuesday night in rehashing the events that led to a three-hour, 35-minute rain delay in the ninth inning and ultimate 9-6 loss to the Rangers on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
“I think I shared my feelings (Tuesday morning),” Girardi said. “I think we can move on. It’s not really going to change what happened.”
One guy who moved on because of the game was Kirby Yates, who the Yankees optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yates, who replaced Aroldis Chapman after the rain delay with a 6-5 lead, allowed four runs to score in an appearance that included three hit batters.
Yates had a 5.72 ERA in 30 appearances. The Yankees recalled righthander Conor Mullee.
As expected, Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup against Rangers lefthander Cole Hamels after being benched for two straight games against righthanders. Rodriguez was hitless in three at-bats but drove in a run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.
Girardi said he did not consider pinch hitting Rodriguez for Aaron Hicks vs. righthander Sam Dyson as the potential tying run with one out in the ninth inning Monday. Hicks grounded into a force out to cap an 0-for-5 night.
“No, I really didn’t,” Girardi said. “He had been sitting around six hours and he’s not 22.”
Yankees minor league catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Jorge Mateo were named to the World Team roster for the All-Star Futures Game, which will be played on July 10 at Petco Park in San Diego.