Yankees shut down Rafael Soriano

Updated: May 25, 2011, 8:06 AM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- After an MRI showed possible damage in his right elbow, New York Yankees righty reliever Rafael Soriano will head to Pensacola, Fla. to meet with renowned specialist, Dr. James Andrews.

The Yankees are waiting to discuss the severity of the injury until Andrews offers his diagnosis.

Soriano had his throwing session on flat ground cut short on Monday afternoon and underwent a dye MRI on Tuesday, manager Joe Girardi said before Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

"I'm more concerned now," Girardi said before Soriano's appointment with Andrews was setup. "I thought we'd have him getting ready to go on a rehab assignment soon. But that doesn't seem to be the case now."

Girardi had said that Soriano was "progressing" on Sunday, and the 31-year-old was slated to get back on a mound sometime after the Yankees completed their six-game homestand, which will conclude on Wednesday afternoon.

But Girardi said Soriano complained of "soreness" in his right elbow on Monday and has been shut down for an indefinite period of time.

Soriano was placed on the disabled list on May 17 (retroactive to May 14) with right elbow inflammation. He underwent an MRI when he went on the DL, and Girardi said that test came back "clean."

General manager Brian Cashman was adamant that he wanted no part of Soriano in the offseason, but he was overruled by Yankees officials, who inked Soriano to a three-year, $35 million free agent contract.

So far, the move has clearly not worked out. Soriano has struggled to adapt in his new environment -- both on and off the mound.

He has already given up nine earned runs -- or three fewer than he surrendered all of last season, when he had 45 saves as the closer of the Tampa Bay Rays.

In 15 innings out of the Yankees bullpen, Soriano has a 1-1 record and a 5.40 earned run average.

Soriano recently caused a stir in Tampa when he told reporters that the Yankees' woes had to do with the offense, and he could not be utilized in his regular role with the team continually trailing.

Mike Mazzeo and Andrew Marchand are regular contributors to ESPNNewYork.com.

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