Eovaldi still dealing with inflammation in elbow
Righty could possibly pitch for Yanks out of 'pen during postseason
TORONTO -- The Yankees have abandoned their hopes of getting Nathan Eovaldi on the mound during what is left of the regular season, though they are not ruling out the possibility that the hard-throwing right-hander could help out of the bullpen during the postseason.
Manager Joe Girardi said on Monday that Eovaldi is still experiencing inflammation in his pitching elbow, which will delay him from playing catch for another week. Girardi acknowledged that the setback decreases the chances that Eovaldi will be able to get back on the mound this year.
"I wasn't sure what we would get," Girardi said. "My thought was, if we were to get something, it would be maybe out of the 'pen to start. I still think you could look at that, but we were hoping that he would get the chance to throw this week. He's going to have to wait another week."
Eovaldi leads the Yankees with 14 victories against three losses, having posted a 4.20 ERA in 27 starts. The 25-year-old was shut down due to the inflammation in early September, prompting the Yankees to shuffle right-hander Adam Warren back to the rotation.
If he is able to return, Eovaldi has said that he would have no issue with pitching out of the bullpen, something that he has done only four times in his big league career, at the end of 2011. Girardi said that the Yankees could make accommodations if they were to use Eovaldi in relief.
"If he was healthy, obviously I would have to prepare in a situation where I gave him plenty of time to warm up," Girardi said. "I wouldn't rush him coming in. Let's just say I was going to use him in the sixth inning, I would probably have him warming up in maybe the bottom of the fourth or something to make sure he was ready."
• The Yankees are continuing to stick with Dustin Ackley at second base. Ackley hit a big three-run homer in their 11-2 victory over the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field, and Girardi said that it is possible that Ackley will now serve as their everyday second baseman, supplanting Stephen Drew.
"He's just been swinging a great bat," Girardi said. "We're going to continue to give him opportunities. He's gotten a lot of big hits for us. He's got power and he's going to continue to get opportunities."
• Masahiro Tanaka (Grade 1 right hamstring strain) worked out on Monday at Yankee Stadium and told the team he was feeling better. Girardi said that the Yankees are planning on reinserting Tanaka into the rotation at some point following the Blue Jays series.
"Our thought is that it would be the next turn through that he would be in the rotation," Girardi said. "His day would have been Wednesday, so sometime next week is probably what we're thinking about."