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SD closer Yates to undergo MRI on elbow

Right-hander exits Friday's game at Arizona with discomfort
@JesseSanchezMLB
August 15, 2020

Kirby Yates' first appearance in seven days might be his last for some time. The Padres closer’s future is uncertain after he was removed from Friday’s 5-1 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field in the eighth inning after six pitches because of right elbow discomfort. Padres manager Jayce Tingler

Kirby Yates' first appearance in seven days might be his last for some time.

The Padres closer’s future is uncertain after he was removed from Friday’s 5-1 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field in the eighth inning after six pitches because of right elbow discomfort. Padres manager Jayce Tingler described it as an irritation “in the back of the elbow area” and said the right-hander will undergo further testing, including an MRI.

A stint on the injured list is a possibility.

“Hopefully, here over the next couple of days, we'll have more information,” Tingler said. “But I think, over the next couple days, for sure, it looks like we're going to be without him.”

Yates, who had not pitched since Aug. 7 due to back soreness, felt strong warming up Friday, and the Padres were determined to test him. They were hoping to use him against the Dodgers in Los Angeles during the last series, but the opportunity never presented itself.

“It's been a little bit of his arm and it's been his back, and that's why I say it was overall soreness,” Tingler said. “He'd been throwing the last couple of days in his catching program, and we thought we were progressing and felt like we were going in the right direction or taking steps. He was feeling better each day.”

Yates struck out Daulton Varsho to lead off the eighth, but Varsho reached base on a wild pitch. Tingler and a member of the Padres' training staff then escorted Yates out of the game after they noticed him walking around the mound.

“We came out and he came out of the game, and from there, he said after each pitch it just kept kind of tightening up on him,” Tingler said. “So, that’s how that went down.”

San Diego will likely use a combination of Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagán and Craig Stammen in the closer's role in Yates’ absence.

“When you see a pitcher walk off the mound, that's concerning, and you just feel horrible for him right now,” Tingler said. “You hope for the best news. Our hearts and our thoughts are with him.”

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.