Strained forearm sends Yanks' Miller to DL
Closer to refrain from throwing for 10-14 days; Betances to assume ninth-inning duties
NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Andrew Miller is heading to the disabled list with a strained muscle in his left forearm, manager Joe Girardi announced after Wednesday's 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Nationals.
In Miller's absence, Girardi said that he anticipates using Dellin Betances as his closer. Betances was also unavailable Wednesday, as Girardi did not want to use him for the third time in four days. Girardi clarified that Betances is healthy.
Miller has posted a 1.03 ERA and 17 saves in 26 appearances this season, his first in pinstripes, and ranks third among big league relievers with 43 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.
"He told us after the game [Tuesday] night. I guess he's been experiencing it for a little bit and he told us last night, so we had an MRI this morning, we got the results later today," Girardi said. "He won't throw the ball for 10 days to two weeks, and then you go from there."
Girardi emphasized that the ligament itself is healthy, which he and Miller both found encouraging. It's the muscle that has a small strain in it.
Girardi and Miller both said once Miller got loose and started pitching, his pitches weren't affected, nor was his performance. But getting loose to begin with became a challenge, and Miller sensed that fatigue was kicking in.
"There wasn't a particular moment. I think it was just one of those things that has kind of been building and I've been doing everything I can to try and make sure I'm available and capable, and it just hasn't been recovering quite like I want it to," Miller said. "It's frustrating more than anything for me. I want to be out there and contribute, and you feel like you're letting guys down and you can't go out there and do your job.
"It's just one of those things that I felt now is the time to take care of it and take a little bit of time off and come back fresh."
Girardi said that he is going to sit down with his staff to talk about options, but that he will likely slide the other pitchers back an inning to set up Betances as the closer. The Yankees begin a seven-day road trip to Baltimore and Miami on Friday.
For Miller, it was an issue he hoped he could take care of, but it eventually caught up to him.
"It's one of those things that you try to treat and try to do everything you can to feel good and go out there and be at your best, but I think it got to the point where my concern was going out there and not being able to do that. Or my concern was being able to not come in the game and then having a situation where it was even harder for the team," Miller said. "I feel obligated to be one of the 25 guys on this team to help us win games. But it just got to the point where I felt like I needed to do something about it."