The Yankees are so concerned they are sending Chamberlain for a second MRI exam today after yesterday’s MRI exam revealed a strained flexor tendon. Today’s MRI exam will include a dye contrast, which is more thorough.
“That [problem] can lead to a long time,” general manager Brian Cashman said after last the Yankees’ 11-6 loss to the Red Sox last night at the Stadium. “We have had guys in the past that it took a month.”
The biggest fear is that often flexor tendon problems are the precursor of elbow ligament damage, which requires Tommy John surgery.
“[Today] we will have a better feel for what we are dealing with,” Cashman said.
Chamberlain, who has pitched very well since Rafael Soriano went on the disabled list on May 17 with elbow inflammation, and the Yankees can’t pinpoint when the problem surfaced.
“He will be off 10 to 14 days and hopefully start a throwing program,” manager Joe Girardi said.
What do you say here except we’d better hope that Joba doesn’t need Tommy John surgery. The Yankees bullpen has been a strength this year, but if they lose both Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain that would be a serious blow.
Not only would it hurt in the short-term as their bullpen would not be deep enough to battle for the AL East, but it almost certainly would require them to go out and make a trade for pieces that they thought they already had. Between Joba, Soriano, and Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte, the Yankees have a lot of bullpen talent on the DL. Those replacements are going to cost them prospects at the deadline.
There is also David Robertson to worry about. As the bullpen’s only known commodity Joe Girardi is going to have to turn to him often which will put a strain on his arm.
All of this makes me wonder if the Yankees might want to think about using Phil Hughes in the bullpen once he returns.