In a season already plagued by injuries, Carlos Beltran's elbow is acting up again. He first experienced pain back in May, when he was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow. The Yankees had him avoid any kind of throwing until very recently, when he returned to right field. Although the timing off this flare up might lead you to believe otherwise, Joe Girardi has said that Beltran's elbow pain has nothing to do with him playing right field, and that his elbow had been bothering him occasionally during swings. Usually he would feel it, then the pain would go away. This time, he felt it during Tuesday's game, and the pain was still there Wednesday morning.
Beltran ended up having a cortisone shot in his elbow yesterday, which is his third of the season. He said the pain wasn't as bad as when he initially went on the DL, but that it was the worst that it's been since. It could be that the cortisone is wearing off. The doctor isn't planning on running any tests on it, but Beltran acknowledged that he would need to have surgery, and that he's just trying to finish out the season first. He's hoping to swing a bat tomorrow and be back in the lineup on Friday.
If that doesn't happen, and Beltran needs to miss some time, or have season-ending surgery, then the right field plan would be either Martin Prado or Ichiro Suzuki. The other player might DH. They could also call up Zoilo Almonte who has played some right field, and is having a pretty good season down in Triple-A (.280/.326/.467 with 17 home runs). It's hard to say whether the Yankees are still in the running for Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo at this point, since they apparently don't want another player who is similar to Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, but he's an outfield option that still exists. On the plus side, if Beltran has the surgery during the offseason, there should be plenty of time for him to heal and be ready for spring training.