If all had went well for Shawn Kelley, he probably would have been activated from the disabled list during the St. Louis series. Instead, Kelley suffered a setback, which means the Yankees will have to be without him for a little while longer.
Kelley played catch on Monday and woke up on Tuesday with a stiff back. He was sent for an MRI but there was no structural damage. Although there’s nothing out of the ordinary in his back, something is clearly wrong.
“He’s just having some muscular issues back there, it seems to be,” Girardi said.
Kelley was supposed to play catch on Monday and Tuesday, throw a bullpen Thursday, get into a rehab game on Saturday and return either next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the series with the Cardinals. The plans have undoubtedly changed.
“So the catch is on hold, the side will be on hold for a little, and obviously the rehab game that we were planning is on hold,” Girardi said. “Just have to wait and see. He’s going to continue to rehab back home.”
If the Yankees need to replace Kelley, they won’t have to look far; Adam Warren and Dellin Betances had done a fine job for the Yankees, and they can hold the fort down until Kelley returns. Kelley being on the DL does create a problem with depth since Preston Claiborne, Matt Thornton and Matt Daley have all been shaky. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much the Yankees can do. They have to wait for Kelley to get better and they have to rely on their bullpen to get their act together.
— Jacoby Ellsbury is in a terrible slump, only hitting .102 since May 4th. However, the Yankees continue to stick with Ellsbury with hopes he’ll have a breakout game. “Sometimes he’s early, sometimes he’s late,” Girardi said. “It’s a timing issue for me. It’s something everyone goes through. Obviously he’s important for our offense and we need him to come out of it.”
— Michael Pineda threw a 30 pitch bullpen session and now the Yankees are trying to figure out if he’ll do another session tomorrow or if he’ll face live hitters.
— Brian McCann is making a rare day-game after night-game start, and Girardi said it had more to do with the upcoming schedule than anything else. “The other thing is we’re going to see some lefties this weekend at some point,” Girardi said. “We were off Friday, we were off Monday.”
— Here’s today’s “Stat Pack” notes!
1) The Yankees recorded shutout wins in both of their last two road games prior to this series (5/14-15 at Mets)… have recorded four shutouts in 2014 — all of which
have come against NL teams (also 4/16 doubleheader vs. Cubs… had 10 SHO in 2013, their highest total since 2008 (11).
2) Yankees batters hit 5HR on Saturday vs. Pittsburgh, matching their season high (hit 5HR on 4/12 vs. Boston)… have homered in 10 of the team’s last 13 games since 5/6, totaling 16HR over the stretch… have also homered in 16 of their last 21G since 4/26, totaling 25HR over the stretch.
a) Five different Yankees homered in Saturday’s win vs. Pittsburgh (Teixeira, Almonte, Gardner, Soriano, McCann), marking just the second time since 2011 that at least five
different Yankees homered in a single game (also five on 4/9/13 at Cleveland: Cano, Overbay, Boesch, Youkilis, Suzuki).
b) Saturday’s 5HR marked the Yankees’ second-highest total in an Interleague game (hit 6HR on 7/10/99 at Mets.