NEW YORK -- With Tommy Kahnle headed for the 10-day disabled list due to right shoulder tendinitis, the Yankees opted to recall Luis Cessa from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday afternoon, reasoning that he could fill a variety of roles out of their bullpen.
Instead, after working two-plus innings in the Yankees' 9-1 loss to the Marlins, Cessa is now joining Kahnle on the DL. General manager Brian Cashman said that Cessa has been diagnosed with a left oblique strain, and the hurler will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine its severity.
"I felt in my last inning; I started feeling a little uncomfortable in my left oblique," Cessa said. "I thought it was just tight, but every pitch I was feeling more and more."
Cessa permitted two runs and three hits in the outing, relieving Masahiro Tanaka. He exited after Tomas Telis' eighth-inning RBI single, walking off the field with head athletic trainer Steve Donohue. In three appearances this year, Cessa has compiled a 4.50 ERA.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Cessa could be replaced on the active roster by Carsten Sabathia, who is scheduled to be activated for a start on Thursday against the Blue Jays.
Kahnle could very well return before Cessa, having undergone an MRI and several strength tests on Tuesday to determine the reason behind his drop in fastball velocity. Kahnle's four-seamer has averaged 94.9 mph this year, nearly 3 mph slower than last season (97.8 mph).
"We're hoping that this is something that we can knock out with a few days of rest," Boone said of Kahnle's injury. "That'll unfold over the next 24 hours and days ahead. We're at least optimistic that it is a minor situation."
The 28-year-old Kahnle struggled to start 2018, allowing seven runs (five earned) in 7 1/3 frames, though he did strike out nine batters.
Kahnle recorded a 2.70 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings in 2017 after being acquired from the White Sox in a mid-July trade. Boone said that bullpen coach Mike Harkey had noticed that Kahnle didn't seem to be warming up the way he did in '17.
"He doesn't feel anything that's too wrong in there, but he said there's a little bit of trouble getting warmed up," Boone said. "Hopefully a little bit of a timeout here for a few days, assuming everything comes back results-wise from the MRI, hopefully it's something that a few days of rest will get him back on the right track."
Top prospect Gleyber Torres is listed as day to day with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after he was lifted for a fifth-inning pinch-hitter due to stiffness in the middle of his back. Boone said that the removal was precautionary on a 48-degree evening at Gwinnett in suburban Atlanta.
"They don't think it's anything serious other than some tightness," Boone said. "They don't think it's a pull or anything. They're optimistic that it's just a day-to-day thing, and hopefully he's back in there [Wednesday]."
Don't think, just throw
There is a memorable scene in the 1988 movie "Bull Durham" in which pitcher Nuke LaLoosh (played by Tim Robbins) repeats a newfound mantra: "Don't think, just throw." Sonny Gray is attempting to subscribe to a similar theory, reminding himself to "pitch more athletic."
"For me, it just kind of means to maybe get the ball and not have as much thinking going on," Gray said. "Just get the ball and kind of go. I think it's probably something I've done in the past that I might've gotten away from a little bit."
In advance of Gray's next start on Friday against the Blue Jays, Gray and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have been working on a mechanical tweak, trying to restore his mechanics to where they were with the Athletics. He has pitched to a 6.92 ERA through his first three starts this season.
"I feel good," Gray said. "Everything in this game is going through adjustments and trying to better yourself."
Greg Bird hit off of a tee on Tuesday, marking the first time that he has done so since undergoing right ankle surgery on March 27. Bird said that he expects to resume outdoor running and agility drills by the end of the week, and he will travel to Tampa, Fla., when the Yankees go on the road.
"They told me six to eight weeks [from the date of the surgery], so I think I'm right on track for that," Bird said. "I'll be doing close to full baseball activity, I think, by next week. So that's nice. Hopefully it warms up a little bit. That would be nice, too."