The Yankees knew the worst-case scenario, and now they appear to be living it.
On the same day that they confirmed that prospect Luis Gil will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL, Aaron Boone said Chad Green’s right elbow strain is “significant” and potentially could require surgery — ostensibly also Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees placed Green on the 15-day injured list and recalled reliever Ron Marinaccio from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Boone said the team will continue to confer with doctors to see the next steps for Green, but he did not appear optimistic.
“It was pretty emotional for me, honestly,” Boone said Saturday before the Yankees beat the White Sox, 7-5. “Chad’s a lot that’s right about our sport . . . just the way he prepares, how he takes care of himself, the professional that he is, the respect he carries in that room, the track record of consistent success. So, you know, it’s difficult.”
Green, who pitched Thursday against the Orioles, experienced some discomfort early in his outing before being forced to exit the game after a pickoff throw. On Friday, when asked how he was feeling, a downcast Green replied, “I’ve been better.”
The reliever, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has been a stabilizing presence in the Yankees' bullpen since being obtained from the Tigers in 2015. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and one save in 14 appearances this season and, after a rough start, he has allowed only one earned run in his last seven appearances. He has a 3.17 career ERA.
“To start the season and going back now to before I got here, he’s on that very short list of outstanding relievers in our sport,” Boone said. “He’s been so consistent. He’s such a rock for us. He’s just a consistent pitcher, person — just so reliable and an important part of our team and that room, so it’s definitely tough.”
Gil, 23, who made a spot start with the Yankees earlier this month, was pitching in a Triple-A game Wednesday when he motioned to the bullpen, indicating an elbow issue. Boone said Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the team physician, will perform Gil's surgery on Tuesday. It appears JP Sears will be called up to start against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Gil impressed when he was called up last year, not allowing a run in his first 15 2/3 innings. He made six appearances in 2021, going 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He struggled in his one major-league start this year, allowing five hits and four earned runs in four innings.
“He’s a young man and he’s got a lot of talent,” Boone said of Gil on Friday. “Unfortunately, this is part of it sometimes. Injury, unfortunately, is part of the game sometimes. You’ve got to handle that as a professional athlete sometimes, and how you deal with it sometimes allows you to, in some cases — especially when you’re a young man — you can come back better for it.”
As for Green, Boone said he is dealing with any eventuality the way he'd expect him to address it.
Said Boone, “He’s just such a consistent person, a pro, strong faith, so he’s equipped to handle this and certainly will, I think, as well as you can.”