Starter Chad Green left last night’s game in the second inning after he noticed that something in his arm was not feeling right. After the game, Green said he did not know when exactly the problem occurred, but he noticed that his slider was flat, his velocity was down, and he was having difficulty extending on his pitches. The Yankees sent Green for an MRI today, and Mark Feinsand has reported that Green has suffered a sprained right UCL and a strained flexor tendon.
The good news is that he doesn’t seem to have a tear in his UCL, though he is going to meet with Dr. Ahmad on Monday and we should hear more details after that. This is the second hit that the Yankees’ rotation has taken over the past few weeks, and now might be a good time for the team to invest in extra bubble wrap. Clearly no one’s UCL is safe, as the rotation recently lost Nathan Eovaldi after he had to undergo season-ending surgery to repair his UCL and flexor tendon. Hopefully Green’s injury will not require surgery, but for now it seems likely that he will miss the rest of the season.
There’s never a good time for an injury, but at least the Yankees have a few options to consider when replacing Green now that rosters have expanded. The first option is Luis Severino, who spent most of the season bouncing between the majors and Triple-A. Most recently, he was sent down to work on throwing more changeups. Severino has already rejoined the team, and is still stretched out, though they called him up with the idea that he would be pitching out of the bullpen.
The Yankees could also turn to Bryan Mitchell, and opt to leave Severino in the bullpen. Mitchell has yet to make his debut with the team this year. He has spent the entire season recovering from a broken sesamoid bone (toe) and Grade 3 turf toe. Mitchell was finally cleared to start pitching in games near the beginning of August. His two most recent starts came in Scranton where Mitchell gave up just one run and notched 14 strikeouts over nine innings of work. He is not quite stretched out all the way, but his most recent start was his longest outing and he lasted 5 1⁄3 innings and threw 91 pitches.
The Yankees don’t really have a great deal of starters to choose from. Adam Warren is not stretched out, so he wouldn’t be ready to take over a spot in the rotation. There are also some starters in Triple-A who appear to be unrealistic options. Dietrich Enns had reportedly reached his innings limit for this season, and Jordan Montgomery has only made six Triple-A starts.
In other injury news, Aaron Hicks will likely be out for the remainder of the season with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. It was a rough season for Hicks, but he was finally starting to hit well in August. At least there are plenty of young outfielders who can replace him.