Last season it was mainly the rotation that was obliterated by injuries, but this season the rotation, bullpen and lineup have all dealt with their fair share of injuries. Here's the latest update on Mark Teixeira's neck and Ivan Nova and Andrew Miller's rehab:
Mark Teixeira first started complaining of a stiff neck a couple of weeks ago, and though he couldn't pinpoint it to a specific play, he did have to sit out a game last week against the Marlins. The pain seemed to improve after that, but he was benched again last night because his neck was bothering him. The Yankees sent him for an MRI yesterday, which Joe Girardi said "came back pretty good," whatever that means. Even though the MRI didn't show anything to be concerned about, Tex has been experiencing pain turning his head from side to side, so he went ahead and got a cortisone injection in an attempt to speed up the healing process and try to eliminate the soreness that remains. He is expected to miss Tuesday's game and will be reevaluated on Wednesday.
Speaking of Wednesday, the Yankees have officially decided to activate Ivan Nova from the disabled list so that he can start the last game of the series against the Phillies. There has been some debate as to who Nova will replace in the rotation, but the Yankees are going to go with a six-man rotation, at least for the time being. Adam Warren will make his regularly scheduled start on Thursday, and then the rest of the rotation will follow as normal. The Yankees are currently in a stretch where they play 20 games in 20 days, so it makes sense to try and get the rotation extra rest if possible. Don't count on seeing a six-man rotation for the rest of the season, though. Girardi indicated that it probably wouldn't continue after the All Star break. Then the Yankees would have to decide who to remove from the rotation and add to the bullpen.
The bullpen was considered the Yankees' biggest strength heading into the season, but it hasn't been quite as good as it was early on since Andrew Miller went on the disabled list. Miller was shutdown with a forearm strain on June 10th and the strain is believed to have been caused by fatigue. However, Miller has said that he doesn't think overuse will be an issue going forward, and that he doesn't think there will be any attempts to lighten his workload. He's expected to play catch on Wednesday, throwing for the first time since the injury. If he can get through that without any pain, he'll still be several days away from throwing a bullpen session and eventually rejoining the team. On the plus side, it shouldn't take too long to build up his arm strength, at least not compared to the process Masahiro Tanaka went through earlier in the season.