Bruney blames injury on review
NEW YORK -- Ready to return from the disabled list, New York Yankees reliever Brian Bruney blamed an 8½-minute wait during an umpires' video review for causing a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow.
Bruney went on the disabled list April 25, six days after he was warming up in the bullpen during the seventh inning when umpires checked video before upholding a home run by teammate Jorge Posada. Bruney then entered in the eighth and got three outs.
"Major League Baseball needs a way to figure out if it's a home run or not," Bruney said Monday. "It shouldn't take 8½ minutes, and I think that's what screwed me up."
Bruney pitched just once after the April 19 game, throwing an inning on April 21 before going on the DL. He said it was obvious to him from the first replay that Posada's drive just over the right-field wall against Indians reliever Jensen Lewis was a home run.
He called the players' association and learned only then that replays are provided to umpires from a central location.
"I don't know what the 8½ minutes was all about," he said. "I don't know if like somebody was on lunch break or what."
Bruney kept on warming up, not sure how long it would take for umpires to return to the field.
"I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again," he said. "I don't know if he's coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8½ minutes. It turned about to be the latter. I mean, that's a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing."
Bruney allowed one run in one inning during a minor league rehab appearance Sunday and is slated to be activated Tuesday.
Mike Port, Major League Baseball's vice president of umpiring, declined comment on Bruney's allegation.
Chien-Ming Wang, on the DL since April 24, threw seven shutout innings during a minor league rehab start Sunday and is to throw a bullpen session in New York on Tuesday.
Wang was 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA in three starts this year after missing the final 3½ months of last season with a foot injury. The Yankees said he had weakness in the abductor muscles in his hips and replaced him in the rotation with Phil Hughes, who is 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA.
Wang's velocity has been about 88-92 mph, down from 92-94 mph last year.
"There was some inconsistency in his sinker. We want to see him, see how he's doing, and then we'll make a decision after that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
New York outfielder Brett Gardner had an MRI that showed he had a bruised right rotator cuff. Gardner was hurt in the ninth inning Sunday when he tried to score from second on Francisco Cervelli's sharp grounder up the middle that bounded off the glove off Twins reliever Jose Mijares. The ball was picked up by catcher Joe Mauer, who scampered back to make the tag as both players dove headfirst for the plate.
Girardi said Gardner likely would be unavailable for Monday's series finale against Minnesota.
Posada, on the DL since May 5 with a hamstring injury, was headed back to New York from Tampa, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation. Rain was forecast for Florida later this week.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press