The injury bug that helped destroy the Yankees' 2013 season has mostly stayed away in 2014. But that is starting to change.
Before Tuesday night's loss to Robinson Cano and the Mariners, Joe Girardi disclosed that suspended starter Michael Pineda's scheduled start Monday in Anaheim, Calif., was in "jeopardy" after the pitcher experienced tightness in his right lat muscle in the first inning of a simulated game in Tampa.
After Tuesday night's 6-3 loss to the Mariners, it became clear that Monday's start will be lost.
The Yankees announced an MRI discovered a Grade 1 strain in Pineda's teres major muscle, located just beneath the shoulder, and that the 25-year-old righthander will be shut down for 10 days.
Through a Yankees spokesman, GM Brian Cashman estimated Pineda, evaluated Tuesday night by the team physician, Dr. Christopher Ahmad, would be out at least 3-4 weeks.
Pineda is currently serving a 10-game suspension for getting caught with pine tar on his neck during his start last Wednesday in Boston, one that ended after 12/3 innings. In order to keep the righthander sharp, the Yankees sent him to Tampa to pitch in a simulated game, which Pineda removed himself from after one inning, Girardi said.
The pitcher is sure to land on the disabled list, though with him being in mid-suspension it wasn't immediately clear when such a stint would begin.
David Phelps took Pineda's place in the rotation and Girardi said the righthander would be the likely replacement Monday in Anaheim.
Before Tuesday night's game Girardi also disclosed centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was not in the lineup because of "soreness" in his left hand. Tests performed Monday on Ellsbury's hand showed "no structural damage," Girardi said.
"I'm giving him today off in the hopes that will clear it up," the manager said, adding that the lousy weather forecast threatening tonight's game could amount to another day of rest for the outfielder.