Yanks restock after injuries compound
Bruney likely out two to three weeks; Melancon joins club
BOSTON -- The Yankees shuffled their injury-riddled roster before Saturday's game with the Red Sox, summoning infielder Angel Berroa plus pitchers Mark Melancon and Dave Robertson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In corresponding moves, the Yankees placed right-hander Brian Bruney on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow and infielder Cody Ransom on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps. New York also placed right-hander Chien-Ming Wang on the 15-day disabled list with weakness in his hip abductor muscles.
"At some point, every club goes through this," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We just happen to have a few at the same time. But we have faith in our system and the young kids that we're bringing up. They get a chance to step up."
Bruney left the Yankees on Friday to have his right elbow examined by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad, and an MRI performed Saturday revealed the injury. Girardi said that Bruney would rest for a week before throwing again and could return to New York's bullpen within two to three weeks.
Ransom suffered the injury while running the bases in the eighth inning of New York's 5-4 loss in 11 innings on Friday. Ransom described feeling the sensation of "a knife in my thigh" while stealing second base and was removed from the game after slumping over upon reaching third base.
Girardi said that trainers immediately identified Ransom's injury as a DL situation and speculated that it is worse than the quadriceps injuries suffered last year by Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Ransom is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday and said the news was "extremely" hard to take.
"I pieced together a few games in a row there and started feeling better at the plate," Ransom said. "I'm definitely disappointed about it. It's the first time anything like this has ever happened to me."
Girardi said that Berroa would slot in as the Yankees' everyday third baseman until Rodriguez returns. Berroa was hitting .316 (18-for-57) with four doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs in 14 games at Triple-A this season after losing out to 23-year-old rookie Ramiro Pena on a bid to make the Yankees out of Spring Training.
"We like the experience of Berroa," Girardi said. "He's a guy that's had success in the big leagues and [was] a Rookie of the Year [in 2003]. Offensively, we think he provides a little bit more pop [than Pena]."
Robertson is up for the second time this season, having also appeared in the April 16 home opener at Yankee Stadium against the Indians. To create room on the 40-man roster for Melancon, who was called up late from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the news about Bruney, the Yankees released right-hander Humberto Sanchez.
Melancon would be making his Major League debut after pitching 10 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, striking out 17 batters over six appearances at Triple-A. Melancon was 2-0 and held batters to four hits in 33 at-bats, a .121 batting average, with three walks.
Girardi said that in Bruney's absence, the Yankees would filter their late-inning mix from within, avoiding rushing Melancon into those situations. He mentioned Damaso Marte, Jonathan Albaladejo, Phil Coke and Jose Veras as pitchers who could help out.
"We're going to have to mix and match," Girardi said. "We'll look at matchups, look at guys' strengths and weaknesses. We'll figure out how we get through the sixth, seventh and eighth every day."
Additionally, Girardi announced that his probable starter for Tuesday at Detroit will be Phil Hughes, who will remain in the rotation. Hughes pitched Wednesday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, improving to 3-0 with 7 2/3 innings of one-run, six-hit ball in a 6-1 victory over Buffalo, walking one and striking out seven in a 105-pitch start.
"You don't call up a guy up for one start," Girardi said. "That's unfair, I think, to put that type of pressure on them. You hope that he goes out and just continues to pitch like he's been pitching."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.