David Phelps was scheduled to pitch for Double-A Trenton in his latest rehab start, but instead he has been scratched because of elbow soreness. Phelps hasn't appeared in a game since July 4 when he went on the 15-day disabled list, but he had already thrown 7.2 innings in two rehab starts with the Thunder. He had given up three runs on five hits and fives walks, but he also struck out 12, so it's unknown if he had been feeling soreness or if this is new. It was thought that maybe he was being brought up instead of pitching today, but that clearly ended up being wrong.
Forearm pain and elbow soreness usually leads to Tommy John surgery, which would take him out of the entire 2014 season and possibly some of 2015, since the injury occurred so late in the 2013 season. This could be a huge setback, not just for Phelps' career, but for the Yankees' pitching options going forward. Phelps had a 5.01 ERA in 82.2 innings, so his loss might not hurt the team too badly now, but the team already has a shortage of pitchers if they lose Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Hiroki Kuroda. Adam Warren, Michael Pineda, and maybe Brett Marshall or Manny Banuelos would be the only internal choices for the team if Phelps needs Tommy John surgery. This is obviously all speculative, but the threat is very real.
If that wasn't bad enough, Derek Jeter will sit for the next two days as he deals with a calf injury. He seemed to struggle a bit in San Diego on Friday night, leading to a flurry of questions from the media. Girardi said he would consult with Jeter and apparently something wasn't right. He's still dealing with lingering quad issues and the surgically repaired ankle, so this isn't surprising.
Hopefully, he can stay healthy and off the DL, but at this point the 2013 Yankees have never been lucky with these things. If Jeter is lost again that's basically the season right there. Losing Jeter would make Eduardo Nunez a starting player again after hitting 262/.275/.354 since returning from the DL himself. It would also put Jayson Nix in the lineup every day, which is not something a playoff contender wants.
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