NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Joba Chamberlain was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a stiff elbow, leaving the Yankees’ ailing bullpen in dire straits.
Rafael Soriano also is sidelined, with inflammation in his right elbow, and is not expected back until perhaps the All-Star break. David Robertson is likely to assume the eighth-inning role as Mariano Rivera’s primary setup man, and manager Joe Girardi said he’ll look to mix and match in the seventh.
“We’ve had a number of things that have hit us in a short period of time,” Girardi said.
Chamberlain, who has not given up a run in his past eight outings, said he’s been receiving routine treatment on the area where his forearm meets his elbow for about 10 days or two weeks. He said it hasn’t bothered him in games, but his elbow would tighten up after he pitched.
“It’s just one of those things when it was at the point where I was like, you know what, I’ve got to say something,” said Chamberlain, who threw 35 pitches in his most recent outing Sunday. “I didn’t feel it when I pitched. It was when I was done. That’s kind of I guess the thing that kind of raised the red flag for me.”
“His stuff had been great,” Girardi said.
The right-hander had an MRI exam Wednesday that revealed a strained flexor muscle. He will be shut down for 10 to 14 days before beginning a throwing program and is likely to miss several weeks – if not longer.
“That can lead to a long time,” GM Brian Cashman said. “We have had guys in the past that it took a month.”
Chamberlain was placed on the DL retroactive to June 6. He’ll undergo a second MRI on Thursday.
“We’ll have a better feel for what we are dealing with,” said Cashman.
New York added two fresh arms to the bullpen on Wednesday, claiming right-hander Jeff Marquez off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and recalling righty Amauri Sanit from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Right-hander Hector Noesi was optioned to Triple-A after throwing six solid innings in relief Tuesday night during a 6-4 loss. Noesi saved the bullpen following Freddy Garcia’s ineffective start, but won himself a ticket to the minors because the long outing made him unavailable to pitch for four days.
“You’ve got to make sure that you’re covered,” Girardi said. “He did everything that we could have asked of him.”
The Yankees traded Marquez to Chicago as part of a package for right fielder Nick Swisher in November 2008. He was signed to a major league contract Wednesday and added to the 25-man roster.
To make room for Marquez on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred reserve infielder Eric Chavez (broken left foot) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Sanit was with the Yankees from May 12-21, making three relief appearances. He allowed six earned runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
In other news, first baseman Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup after leaving Tuesday night’s series opener against Boston when he was hit on the right kneecap by a first-inning pitch from Jon Lester.
“It’s a lot better than I thought,” said Teixeira, who treated the bone bruise with plenty of ice. “I didn’t sleep great last night but I woke up this morning and as soon as I started moving around, I didn’t have any problems.”
Girardi said he received a text message about 10 a.m. from Teixeira saying he was healthy enough to play.
“I was really surprised,” the manager said.
Who will step up in the Yankees’ depleted bullpen? Sound off in the comments below…
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