LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that doctors say the reliever could resume pitching off a mound by July.
Chamberlain, still recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery last year, dislocated his right ankle while playing on a trampoline with his son Thursday.Cashman related the news before Saturday's 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, which featured the first spring training home run by slumping Raul Ibanez."It's just going to take time to heal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We have no idea when he can start rehab. For now it's, so far, so good. We are just trying to stay positive about it."Cashman visited Chamberlain in the hospital and said the 26-year-old pitcher told him he could be released this weekend. A bone broke through Chamberlain's skin during the dislocation, and Girardi said there was an initial concern of an infection.The team said an MRI and CT scan showed no microfractures, and Chamberlain is expected to be released from the hospital Sunday. No matter what, Chamberlain is out until the summer."Well, I mean if you're talking July 1 to July 15 to July 25, there's a big difference there. He's going to be in a cast for I think six weeks, and then you start rehabbing," Girardi said.Chamberlain agreed in January to a one-year contract for $1,675,000, up from $1.4 million last year. The deal was not guaranteed. Chamberlain went 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 relief appearances last season before elbow surgery June 16.As for the game, Ibanez had two hits to raise his average to .075. He hit a two-run shot off starter Max Scherzer in the seventh inning.Freddy Garcia, vying for a spot in the Yankees' rotation, made his first appearance since he was hit at the base of his right thumb and index finger by a comebacker on March 15. He allowed one hit in 4 1/3 scoreless innings, struck out four and walked two.Garcia was hit in the back of his right leg by Jhonny Peralta's line drive in the third, the only hit allowed. Garcia laughed off his bruise."I feel great," he said. "I only have to worry about myself. We have six guys going for five spots. I like the competition."And with Andy Pettitte rejoining the Yankees, there will be seven pitchers for five slots by some point next month.Scherzer struck out eight in seven innings, the longest outing by a Tigers starter this spring. He allowed two runs and three hits."If he can stay in the groove like he has, I'll be a very happy camper," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I let him go long because I want my starters to be able to throw 100 (pitches) by opening day."Dewayne Wise hit a two-run double in the 10th for the Yankees. Audy Ciriaco homered for the Tigers in the ninth against D.J. Mitchell.
The Tigers optioned LHP Andy Wilk to Triple-A Toledo. Wilk was a contender for the fifth spot in the rotation. Leyland said it would come down to LHP Duane Below, LHP Andy Oliver and LHP Drew Smyly. Between them they have nine major league starts. Leyland said a trade for a fifth starter is not out of the question. ... New York C Francisco Cervelli was removed in the seventh inning after he was hit by a pitch. Cervelli had an ice pack on his shin after the game but said he is fine. ... Yankees RHP David Robertson is to make his second appearance of spring training on Sunday, his first since March 5 and first since bruising a bone in his right foot while tripping at his home in St. Petersburg.