As bad as Monday night’s loss to the Mets was, there was even worse news following the game as the Yankees deal with multiple injuries. Shawn Kelley, Ichiro Suzuki and Carlos Beltran were all bit by the injury bug. The Yankees are not ready to put any on the DL right away with the hope that injuries sustained by each of them will be minor and take less than two weeks to heal.
However, that will leave the Yankees with a severely short bench and bullpen. The consequences of the injuries could already be felt on Monday night when Preston Claiborne, who started the season in AAA, was pitching the eighth inning instead of Kelley. He missed the series with the Brewers over the weekend with a strained back. While it was initially thought that he would be available for the beginning of the Mets series he was still out with lingering tightness in his back.
Beltran left Monday’s game with a hyper-extended elbow that he suffered taking batting practice between at bats. Beltran was the DH in the game. He will going for an MRI and pending the results may be headed for the DL. Should he end up going on the DL it would that Ichiro would get a big increase of playing time, which would be well deserved. Ichiro is hitting .364 on the season. The Yankees would likely also bring up Zoilo Almonte from AAA to provide depth on the bench.
However, Ichiro is also hurt. He injured his 40 year old back in a sliding attempt on Sunday’s game. He was unable to get loose before Monday’s game and was then unable to play. He is considered day to day and the Yankees hope he will be available for Tuesday’s game.
The impact of these injuries were immediate on Monday night. With Kelly injuries and Adam Warren and Dellin Betances unavailable after logging multiple innings over the weekend, the Yankee bullpen was very shorthanded. The Yankees may be forced to make a roster move even if Kelley does not go on the DL just to make sure they have enough fresh arms.
The Yankees were also saddled with Alfonso Soriano in right field and forced to use their backup catcher John Ryan Murphy as the DH after Beltran left the game leaving the Yankees vulnerable to having to use Brendan Ryan as the emergency catcher. Lastly, the Yankees could have used Ichiro speed in the ninth as a pinch runner for Mark Teixeira. He might have been able to steal second and stay out of the game ending double play.