Veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a bone spur in his right elbow. The Yankees' slugger may require surgery if his situation does not improve in the next two weeks. The move is retroactive to May 13th, meaning the earliest Beltran can return would be on May 28th against the Cardinals in St. Louis, though it appears unlikely that he will be fully healthy by then.
#Yankees place Carlos Beltran on 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation, retroactive to May 13.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 15, 2014
The injury was sustained during batting practice on Monday, and a subsequent MRI revealed the bone spur. Beltran took a cortisone shot to try and avoid the DL, but it appears that it failed to do the trick.
Beltran signed a three-year, $45 million deal with New York in December. So far this season, the rightfielder and occasional DH has hit just .234/.286/.430, and he has been atrocious in the field with a -26.0 UZR/150. Beltran has been an All-Star in each of the past three seasons (and seven of the past nine), but it appears that his advanced age (he turned 37 last month) is finally beginning to catch up with him. He hit .296/.339/.491 with a 132 wRC+ in 600 plate appearances with the Cardinals last season.
In the absence of Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki will likely see a significant boost in playing time. Kelly Johnson and Zoilo Almonte should also see more time in the field.
The Yankees replaced Beltran on the 25-man roster with 24-year-old right-hander Chase Whitley, who is starting tonight against the Mets at Citi Field. Whitley has a 2.39 ERA and 4.57 K/BB in 26.1 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. New York designated right-hander Bruce Billing for assignment to make room for Whitley on the 40-man roster.