AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
All the rules in the world can't prevent an injury from happening if it's meant to happen. Last night, after throwing his 97th pitch of the game in the fifth inning, Joba Chamberlain felt tightness in his right shoulder. Joe Girardi immediately rushed to the mound with the Yankees trainer and decided to take the cautious route and removed Chamberlain from the game. After the game, Girardi was optimistic that things weren't too serious.
"He has a little stiffness. We believe it's muscular," Girardi told reporters after the game. "We'll see what the tests reveal. I don't think he'll be shut down a long time."
Chamberlain will return to New York today for tests and will more than likely miss his next turn in the rotation. However, the Yankees can ill-afford to lose Chamberlain for long, after already losing Chien-Ming Wang to a foot injury and Phil Hughes, who is currently preparing for a rehab assignment in Triple-A Scranton. The team already called up Dan Giese to take Darrel Rasner's spot in the rotation. Rasner has been, in a word, lousy, posting a 7.51 ERA in his past nine starts. Sidney Ponson, who has a 4.81 ERA in his six starts in pinstripes, is also not a long-term solution.
What other options do the Yankees have after Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte? Not a lot. Ian Kennedy has been pitching well in Triple-A, with a 4-2 record and a 2.14 ERA in his past nine games, but was 0-3 with a 7.41 ERA for the Yankees earlier this year. Hughes was 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA before his rib injury. Are the Yankees in such dire straits that they may have to hope Carl Pavano, currently rehabbing in Class A, can come all the way back from his elbow surgery? He's pitched only twice since the end of the 2005 season.
And then there's Mariano Rivera, who was unavailable to pitch for the second consecutive game Monday due to back spasms. Girardi says he expects Rivera to be ready if he is needed Tuesday, but back spasms can be unpredictable. At least the Yankees have a Plan B in place, having acquired Damaso Marte from the Pirates, but with the starting rotation in shambles, how many games will there be to save?
It kind of makes you wonder if getting a left fielder and a catcher at the trade deadline were the most important moves this team could have made.
Rafael Perez, Indians
The Indians called on Perez in the eighth to protect a three-run lead, which he did with two perfect innings. It was Perez's second save since July 25, further indicating a closer-by-committee in Cleveland, headed by Masa Kobayashi and Perez.
Damaso Marte, Yankees
Marte surrendered a walk-off Grand Slam to the Rangers' Marlon Byrd, making this the second bad outing in three appearances for the Yankees' key bullpen addition.
"During Monday's game, David Ortiz felt a click in the wrist he injured earlier this season.
This has been Boston's fear all along, of course, because no matter how clean examinations might appear and how good the medical information at hand is, all it takes is one check swing or one awkward swing to set a hitter back into a place in which he cannot function.
-- Buster Olney Full Story
• Colorado called up pitcher Steven Register from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Register, who nearly made the Mets opening day roster out of spring training after being claimed in the Rule 5 draft, had a 3.00 K/BB ratio for the Sky Sox as their closer this season. With Jeff Francis set to return shortly from the disabled list, ineffective starter Valerio De Los Santos was designated for assignment.
• The Orioles called up Chris Waters from Triple-A Norfolk to make his major league debut Tuesday, facing Jon Garland and the Angels. The lefty was 3-6 with a 5.70 ERA for the Tides. Infielder Brandon Fahey was sent down to make room on the roster.
• Tom Glavine hadn't pitched a minor league game in over two decades, but there he was on the mound for Class-A Myrtle Beach on Monday, making a rehab start. The Braves' veteran, who hadn't faced live hitters since suffering a partially torn flexor tendon in his left elbow on June 10, went four innings, allowing one earned run and three hits. He could be back with Atlanta in time for the weekend series with the Diamondbacks.
• Aaron Harang was on a 70-pitch maximum in his first rehab start for Triple-A Louisville. Harang was so effective he worked through six scoreless innings with a pitch to spare. Even with the positive outing, Harang might still make one more rehab start before rejoining Cincinnati.