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Yankees place Kelley on DL, recall Almonte

Outfielder called up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to bolster banged-up unit
05/13/2014 5:18 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley has not pitched since May 6 in Anaheim.(AP)
The New York Yankees placed reliever Shawn Kelley on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with what was termed a strained lumbar spine, and the team has recalled outfielder Zoilo Almonte from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace him on the roster.

Kelley, who has not pitched since May 6 in Anaheim, warmed up Sunday but was unable to go, and manager Joe Girardi said Monday that the righty was unavailable for the Subway Series opener because he did not have the flexibility to finish off his pitches.

When the same situation arose Tuesday, the team made a move.

"It's not getting to where it needs to get, and now were looking at seven or eight days," Girardi said, "so we figured with the health of our outfielders the way it is, it's probably a good idea to call a guy up."

Kelley had an MRI done last week that came back clean, but Girardi was unsure if more tests would be needed to see if something else is wrong.

"Nothing scheduled, but he'll see Dr. Ahmad tonight and if the doctor wants to do something else he will," Girardi said. "He had the MRI and it came back good, but I don't know if they'll want to do something else."

With Kelley out for at least another week, Girardi plans to use Adam Warren as the eighth-inning guy and Dellin Betances will slot into the nominal seventh-inning role, and he wouldn't hesitate to use either guy (or closer David Robertson) for more than three outs if needed.

"It's a blow to our bullpen any time you lose someone, but when you start talking late-inning guys, it puts a little more responsibility on Warren and Betances, and those guys will have to step up," the skipper said. "They've done it all year for us, and the one nice thing is that we had three guys a lot of times for two spots in the pen, and when you get in a couple of close games a couple days in a row and your bullpen gets a little depleted, you have options. Not having that will be the most difficult part about not having Kelley."

Almonte was hitting .273 with six home runs and 24 RBI in 33 games at Triple-A, and will come up to bolster an outfield that is also besieged by injuries. Carlos Beltran is day-to-day after being diagnosed with a bone spur in his elbow and receiving a cortisone shot, while Ichiro Suzuki was likely unavailable for a second straight day Tuesday after hurting his back on an attempted diving catch in Milwaukee on Sunday.

The Yankees' skipper was unsure how long Almonte would be up for and how long the team would go with a short bullpen, but he did say that Alfredo Aceves would be available again if needed.

"We can't go too long, but let's get through the next day or two and see where we are," Girardi said of his roster.

Aceves is a still a possibility to start on Thursday in place of CC Sabathia, but in regards to that situation, Girardi said in regards of knowing who will get that start that "if anything, it's probably even foggier."

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