8/5/2014 12:13 A.M. ET
Tanaka feels 'relieved' after light throwing session
By Jake Kring-Schreifels / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As expected, Masahiro Tanaka took the next step in his road to recovery Monday when he threw for the first time since getting injured July 8 in a start against Cleveland.
Tanaka threw 25 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground in the outfield and said everything felt normal. The throwing session was exactly three weeks after Tanaka received a platelet-rich plasma injection, which the team hoped would promote healing of his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Tanaka said he didn't feel anything in his elbow Monday, and the Yankees' plan is to have him throw lightly again Tuesday with the intent to build him back slowly, increasing both his number of throws and the distance.
"I wasn't worried, I think I was more excited to be able to throw," said Tanaka through an interpreter. "I think I got to the next step, so I'm every relieved about that."
Tanaka, avoiding season-ending Tommy John surgery, decided to rest and hopes to return in six weeks, though it is more likely he comes back to the team in September.
"You look at it as a start, really," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Obviously, if there was discomfort, that would be very discouraging. So, it is a positive day. But there's still a long way to go, and you've got to plow through. He knows what he needs to do."
Whether Tanaka has made the right decision will be determined over the course of the month. But Monday was positive, since no pain was reported.
"It's hard to say, it's hard to make any assessment on that," Tanaka said of his decision to return this season.
Phelps to DL; Yanks consider rotation options
NEW YORK -- The Yankees announced Monday that starter David Phelps, who lasted just two innings Sunday against the Red Sox, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Righty Matt Daley replaced Phelps on the roster and was available Monday night against the Tigers.
Phelps said that some lingering elbow soreness didn't loosen up -- as it usually has in the past -- during his warmups Sunday night. A second MRI Monday revealed that his ligament was still clean, but he will have to shut down his arm for two weeks with the tendinitis.
"It's devastating," said Phelps, who likely won't be back in the rotation for at least three weeks in order to get his arm back into shape. "Like I said last night, this is one of the best stretches I've had in my career. Hopefully rest it, have it calm down, and come back and help this team get to the playoffs."
Phelps, who said he first felt a little pain against Cincinnati on July 18, was hit hard by the Red Sox on Sunday, surrendering five runs on six hits in two innings, including a two-run Dustin Pedroia homer. He started the year in the bullpen before being moved to the rotation due to injuries; Phelps is 5-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 26 games (17 starts) this season.
As for a rotation replacement, the Yankees could look to Esmil Rogers, who hurled three scoreless innings in his Yankees debut on Sunday, or Chase Whitley, who relived Phelps in Sunday's game. Whitley had made 12 starts this season before being moved to the bullpen.
"We haven't talked about it yet enough," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "I'll sit down with [pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild] and all our coaches, and the front office, and talk about it. It'll probably be somebody from here."
That could potentially mean Michael Pineda, though it is unlikely. Pineda worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Syracuse on Sunday, and was in the clubhouse Monday.
"I'd be happy," he said of potentially returning to the rotation by Friday, when he is scheduled to throw next.
"I really don't think it's going to be here," said Girardi, who indicated Pineda would throw 75 pitches in his next start. "Sometimes circumstances dictate that you need a guy sooner than maybe they're ready. Sitting here today, I would say our plan is not for [Pineda] to start here on Friday.
"You want to make sure a guy is healthy. You also want to make sure that they're up to full strength before you throw them out there, because the competitive nature is going to kick in. But you also want him sharp. Obviously he's getting closer."
Teixeira late scratch after feeling lightheaded
NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira was removed from Monday's starting lineup minutes before the first pitch due to lightheadedness.
Manager Joe Girardi said after Monday's 2-1 victory over the Tigers that Teixeira got lightheaded about an hour before the game and indicated that arriving in New York on Monday morning at 4:30 a.m. ET may have been a culprit. Teixeira saw a doctor and rested for the majority of the series opener, but he should be available for the rest of the series.
"I felt fine all day, was getting ready for the game all day the way I usually get ready for the game, and all of a sudden, I started getting really dizzy, nauseous, the room started spinning, and I went into the trainers' room and said something's not right," said Teixeira, who didn't feel better until the last few innings of Monday's Yankees win.
"I got some IVs, they said I might have been a little dehydrated, I'm not sure what happened," Teixeira said. "It could be a little bug, could be food poisoning, could've been a lot of things, but it knocked me on my tail a little bit. I just got off the trainers' table, so it's been a fun day. It really just hit me all at once. Hopefully that's the last time I feel it."
Girardi moved third baseman Chase Headley to first base to replace Teixeira, brought in Martin Prado from right field to third base, and inserted Ichiro Suzuki into the lineup to play right. Prado made a few nice plays in the third inning but also was responsible for the Tigers' only run due to a throwing error in the fifth inning that eventually came around to score.
Teixeira has hit .263 with two home runs and three RBIs since returning from a lower lat strain July 28.
• The Yankees have come from behind in each of their last eight wins.
• Girardi entered play Monday with 699 career managerial victories, 621 with the Yankees.
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.