Yankees' Brown scratched; Pavano pushed back

Updated: July 26, 2005, 10:28 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Kevin Brown was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday because of his bad back and Carl Pavano's return from a shoulder injury was pushed back, leaving the New York Yankees uncertain about two turns in their rotation this week.

Brown was on the disabled list from June 18 to July 18, then allowed 13 runs in 7 2/3 innings over starts at Texas and the Los Angeles Angels, getting a no-decision and a loss. He met with a Dr. Yechiel Kleen in Colorado, and Yankees manager Joe Torre said Tuesday that Brown wouldn't pitch until Brown's doctor and team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon talk with each other and come up with a plan.

"We're sort of just holding right now until the doctors give us the go-ahead," Torre said.

Brown, who has chronic back pain and has been on the disabled list 13 times, came off the disabled list without any rehabilitation starts in the minors. He wouldn't address how fast he could return or whether he would be sidelined for the season. Neither he nor the Yankees divulged details of the latest diagnosis.

"Pain has been a part for a long time," he said. "Obviously, it boils down to being able to go out and actually do the job on the field. It's not just velocity, it's movement, location, all those things are a part of it."

Pavano, who hasn't pitched since June 27 because of a sore right shoulder, is to make a rehabilitation start Wednesday in the Gulf Coast League and throw 65-70 pitches. New York originally hoped he would start Saturday against the Angels.

"We want him back 100 percent and ready to go and right," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We can't afford to stub our toe right now."

Torre said the decision to bring Pavano along more slowly was made before the team heard from Brown, and that Brown's lack of a rehab start "could have influenced our thinking for sure because I had said in previous meetings here that Brownie sort of sucked it up for the club by coming back without doing a rehab."

Aaron Small will get Brown's turn Thursday. He made his first major league start since 1996 last Wednesday and beat Texas for his first big league win since 1998.

Jaret Wright, out since April 23 with a strained right shoulder, is to make his first rehab start Saturday, also for the Gulf Coast Yankees. The Yankees might use him in relief.

"He could maybe come back sooner and help us out of the 'pen," Cashman said. "He's come a long way."

Chien-Ming Wang, on the DL since July 9 with an inflamed right shoulder, is to start throwing on flat ground Monday at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla.

"He's got a long way to go," Cashman said.

Cashman wouldn't address whether the Yankees had any interest in signing pitcher Hideo Nomo, released by Tampa Bay.

Even with the injuries, the Yankees began Tuesday just one game behind AL East-leading Boston.

"We're very fortunate where we are right now considering the state of our starters," Torre said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press