NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says right-handed reliever Dellin Betances will get a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Saturday, which will keep him out another 6 to 7 weeks.
Cashman announced that news Friday night, hours after New York revealed catcher Gary Sánchez has a strained left calf. Sánchez became the 12th New York player added to the injured list.
Betances opened the season on the IL after dealing with inflammation in his shoulder during spring training. Cashman said after a rain-shortened 9-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox that oral anti-inflammatories did not solve the issue, a determination made after Betances struggled through a simulated game Thursday.
Betances had an MRI on Friday that showed inflammation centered around a bone spur in his shoulder. Cashman says the Yankees have been aware of the spur since drafting the 6-foot-8 pitcher in 2006, but it hadn’t caused him discomfort until this spring. Betances is expected to be shut down for three weeks, then begin rehabbing with hopes of returning in late May.
Sánchez was added to the IL a day after a precautionary MRI revealed the injury. Sánchez said through a translator that he was “surprised” by the MRI result, believing the tightness he felt in his calf this week wouldn’t require him to miss more time. He was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday at Houston and struck out as a pinch-hitter. He said he felt fine after that game.
He had the MRI during a day off Thursday, and the Yankees decided the strain was severe enough to warrant placing him on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Thursday. Sánchez hopes to return when he’s eligible.
Manager Aaron Boone said Sánchez didn’t want to go on the IL, but the team convinced him to take the cautious route early in the season.
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“It’s frustrating because you want to play,” Sánchez said. “You want to play all the time.”
Sánchez will take five days off from baseball activities. New York hopes he’ll only need five or so days after that to build back up.
“Hopefully it’s something that’s a pretty short stint,” Boone said.
More than half the Yankees starting lineup is hurt. Sánchez joined outfielders Giancarlo Stanton (strained left biceps) and Aaron Hicks (left lower back strain), shortstop Didi Gregorius (recovering from Tommy John surgery last October), third baseman Miguel Andújar (torn labrum in right shoulder) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (strained left calf) on the IL.
The Yankees have lost four in a row, falling to 5-8 a year after winning 100 games.
“It’s our reality right now,” Boone said before the loss to the White Sox. “The bottom line is, we feel like, unlike any other team maybe, we’re equipped to be able to still have success through this.”
New York will get left-hander CC Sabathia off the IL on Saturday. Sabathia is set to make his first start since having an angioplasty and right knee surgery during the offseason.
The 38-year-old Sabathia had been rehabbing with Class A Tampa. He returned to New York on Wednesday, and his message to the clubhouse was simple.
“Keep playing,” he said. “It’s a long season. It’s April, so we’ll get our guys back, but right now we just got to keep going out and playing hard with the guys that we have in here. We have capable guys that can step up and do the job.”
Andújar threw lightly Friday and also took swings off a tee. He’s attempting to avoid surgery for a small labrum tear in his right shoulder. Boone said the biggest concern is the throwing, and it’s still too soon to determine if the third baseman can rehab rather than have a season-ending operation.
Boone also said Stanton and Hicks are recovering well, although neither is nearing an immediate return.
New York recalled catcher Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before the series opener against the White Sox.
The Yankees injured list also includes pitchers Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery and Ben Heller, and oft-injured outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who last played in 2017.
New York is more than halfway to its 2018 total of 20 players who had disabled list stints.
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