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Yankees injuries: Chase Whitley to undergo Tommy John surgery

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

After leaving his May 14th start after just 1.2 innings, it was reported that Chase Whitley had experience an elbow strain–later changed to a sprain–and was immediately placed on the disabled list. It didn't seem good for the 25-year-old right-hander who had seemingly concealed an injury from the team in hopes of pitching through the ailment and helping the team. He seemed resigned to whatever fate awaited him in the MRI tube and it turns out to be as bad as it could be. According to Ken Rosenthal, Whitley will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, taking him out of action for the next 12-18 months.

Whitley had seen mixed results with the big league club, pitching to a 4.19 ERA and 4.60 FIP in 19.1 innings before going down with the injury. In the end, it's hard to see how trying to pitch through the injury even helped the Yankees since he only ended up getting them one win over his four games started this year. Now with Whitley gone from the team, the Yankees have only Bryan Mitchell as minor league depth with Jaron Long and Miguel Sulbaran available if they become desperate. Right now Chris Capuano and Adam Warren remain in the rotation, but neither seem like long term solutions for the remainder of the year.

This injury just places more importance on the healthy returns of Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova. If both can return without a hitch the Yankees might be ok, but with CC Sabathia also an issue, the necessity of a deadline trade is becoming more of a reality. It's funny to think that after so much pitching depth last year–and the trades of David Phelps, Shane Greene, and Manny Banuelos–that now the Yankees are in danger of running out of health and effective arms so early into the season.