Yankees Worried Joba’s Injury Worse than it Appears

Via George King of the NY Post:

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.

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5 Responses to Yankees Worried Joba’s Injury Worse than it Appears

  1. Peter Lacock says:

    'their bullpen would not be deep enough to battle for the AL East'
    I won't go there.
    Kontos & Whelan are throwing well and have big league stuff and Norton is moving up, just to name a few readily available relievers. There are also several other ways to go here.
    In my 50+ years the Yanks have more pitching depth, by far, than I can ever remember. I'm not even a little bit worried about this other than I hope the guys get healthy. Yes they're unproven but this might turn out to be an opportunity not a problem.
    Now Russell Martin, if he can't go, that's a big problem.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      When it rains it pours. Norton (who pitched a scoreless inning last night) was put on the DL by SWB today. What for, how long? I can't say.

    • Kontos and Whelan are nice to have, but there is no reason to expect one or either to make it as a shutdown middle reliever in the AL East.

  2. Mike Sommer says:

    It's the worst case scenario. It appears Joba will need TJ surgery. Goodbye until 2013.

  3. hardnose says:

    I like Whelan…bring him up and see what he can do…