08/05/08 7:51 PM ET
Joba has MRI on stiff right shoulder
Right-hander will see Dr. James Andrews for second opinion
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Chamberlain underwent an MRI on his stiff right shoulder Tuesday in New York, but the Yankees did not immediately announce what that exam showed. The team revealed only that Chamberlain will travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday to receive a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
"You're always careful with your players," manager Joe Girardi said. "You don't ever want to jeopardize their long-term health. You're talking about a 22-year-old kid."
Chamberlain left Monday's start against the Rangers after 4 2/3 innings with stiffness in his right shoulder, complaining of a "grabbing" sensation in his deltoid muscle. The Yankees flew him to New York early Tuesday morning for a series of tests with team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon.
Seeking a second opinion on the results of those tests, the Yankees will turn to Dr. Andrews, a shoulder specialist and one of the game's leading practitioners of Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. They employed Dr. Andrews earlier this year for a second opinion on Jorge Posada's right shoulder strain, which ultimately required season-ending surgery.
The Yankees won't reveal more information on Chamberlain until they hear Dr. Andrews' second opinion.
"I wouldn't necessarily look anything into it," Girardi said of the visit. "Dr. Andrews is a pretty renowned doctor, so a lot of guys go see Dr. Andrews, and we'll see what comes of it."
Girardi and his training staff learned of Chamberlain's injury during the fifth inning Monday, removing him from the game after a brief conference on the mound. Though Chamberlain does have a history of muscle strains in college and the Minor Leagues, this is his first shoulder injury of note.
He will miss at least one start, yet the Yankees have not made a decision regarding any potential stay on the disabled list. Such an assignment would cost Chamberlain at least three turns in the rotation, and possibly more.
Nor have the Yankees made a decision regarding a replacement starter, which they will need for either Friday or Saturday in Anaheim. Dan Giese is scheduled to start Friday, and the Yankees could slot Darrell Rasner on Saturday without making a roster move. But should they need to use either Giese or Rasner out of the bullpen this week, then they could promote a Minor Leaguer -- most likely Ian Kennedy -- to start one of those games.
After that, the Yankees remain unsure. Only once Dr. Andrews reports back on the severity of Chamberlain's injury will they reveal their plan of action, and their estimate on precisely how much time Chamberlain might miss.
"I think we're all hopeful," Girardi said. "We hope that we don't miss him very long, and we'll get him back on the mound as soon as he can."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.