Results tagged ‘ Dr. Chris Ahmad ’
What did I say Thursday night? I doubted very much that Mariano Rivera would want to call it a career after tearing the ACL in his right knee falling awkwardly on the warning track at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. That was precisely what Mo told reporters in the visitors’ clubhouse Friday.
“I’m coming back,” he said. “Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.”
OK, Mo. Here it is: “I’M NOT GOING OUT LIKE THIS.”
Rivera essentially channeled Douglas MacArthur by telling Yankees fans, “I will return,” the same message the general gave his troops in the Philippines during World War II.
Mo had an agonizing night in his hotel room ruminating over the freak injury that will likely shelve him for the remainder of the 2012 season. The more he tossed and turned, the more he realized that leaving a major-league career while sitting on a cart transporting him off the field was not the way the greatest closing reliever in history wanted the curtain to fall.
“I love to play the game, and I don’t think to me going out like this is the right way,” Rivera said.
He plans to stay with the team for the KC series that ends Sunday and will meet Monday in New York with Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician. Rivera acknowledged that in addition to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) the meniscus was also torn. Anticipating surgery, Rivera added, “Everything is going to be fixed.”
Rivera is in the final season of his contract and told writers this spring that he had decided when he would retire but was not ready to reveal it. Now it is clear that he expects to come back in 2013.
Derek Jeter tried to plead his case against going on the 15-day disabled list but eventually lost. After a pre-game meeting among team officials, including team physician Chris Ahmad, the Yankees placed Jeter on the DL and recalled infielder Ramiro Pena from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Jeter came out of the Yankees’ 1-0 loss to the Indians Monday night after an at-bat in the fifth inning and went to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center for an MRI that revealed a grade 1 strain of the right calf. Jeter admitted that he felt the calf giving him problems as he ran off the field prior to his fifth inning at-bat. “I tried to stretch it out while waiting on deck,” he said.
As he broke out of the box on his flyout to right field, Jeter felt a twinge and ran gingerly down the first base line trying to avoid a strain. It didn’t work. Derek thought he had a charley horse.
Before seeing Dr. Ahmad prior to Tuesday night’s scheduled game against the Rangers, Jeter said the area felt the way it does when he is hit by a pitch. “I’ve been hit by pitches a lot, so I know,” he said.
Jeter naturally wanted no part of the DL. The only time he ever spent on it was in the first month of the 2003 season after that infamous collision at Toronto with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby.
“I guess the timing wasn’t very good,” Jeter said, referring to his being only six hits away from 3,000 for his career. “I know a lot of people were hoping for the opportunity to see that happen here. I feel bad about that.”
That was not the concern of manager Joe Girardi. He had the precedent of Alex Rodriguez being out for 14 games last year from Aug. 20 to Sept. 5 because of a similar injury. The Yankees did not place A-Rod on the DL immediately, and he aggravated the condition when he tried to play. Instead of being lost for a few days, Rodriguez eventually was down for two weeks.
That is the scenario Girardi hoped to avoid with Jeter, particularly since the Yankees’ next six games after this homestand ends Thursday are inter-league games at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark where National League rules don’t permit the use of the designated hitter rule. That puts more of a premium on a thicker bench.
The Yankees already have another player, catcher Russell Martin, down with a quirky back.
“Derek believes that he can be back within a week’s time,” Girardi said. “The issue with me is what if he isn’t ready to come back in a week, tries to play and hurts it again and is out longer. It’s a matter of what’s best for Derek versus what’s best for the team.”
The ultimate decision may prove best for both. Jeter will have time to heal properly from the injury, and the Yankees can have a full, healthy roster for the games in NL parks. Pena will be used in a utility role with Eduardo Nunez playing regularly at shortstop while Jeter is out. On occasions when Girardi wants to rest Rodriguez or use him as the DH, Nunez will move to third base and Pena will play shortstop.
Brett Gardner was to bat in Jeter’s leadoff spot Tuesday night. He started the season leading off against right-handed starters with Jeter in the 2-hole. Against lefties, Jeter led off and Gardner was at the bottom of the order. Girardi will use Gardner again leading off against righthanders but probably not against lefthanders.
The Yankees will face left-handed starters Wednesday night and Thursday. Girardi mentioned Curtis Granderson, who has hit lefties well this year (.282, 9 home runs, 19 RBI in 71 at-bats), as a possibility. Another choice might be switch hitter Nick Swisher, who is batting .221 overall but .339 with a .429 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching.
So Jeter’s quest for 3,000 hits will be put on hold while the Yankees learn to live without their captain for the time being.
I was kidding earlier in the week when I suggested that Alex Rodriguez would cancel a visit to his hip surgeon after he hit two home runs in a game at Tropicana Field and followed that with four hits in the 15-inning game at Camden Yards.
Well, it turns out that A-Rod did cancel his doctor’s appointment. After all, nothing the doctor could say would make Rodriguez feel better than breaking out of a cold spell at the plate. He kept it up Friday night with a double to right-center off the Mets’ R.A. Dickey leading off the second inning.
The Yankees eventually loaded the bases with two outs as Jorge Posada walked and Nick Swisher was hit by a pitch, but they came away empty as Brett Gardner grounded into a forceout at third base.
Speaking of doctors, outfielder Curtis Dickerson reacted well to memory tests two days after he was beaned in Baltimore and is day-to-day. Phil Hughes was to be examined by team physician Chris Ahmad and could throw off a mound sometime this week.
As I pointed out last week, the Yankees have had a disturbing habit of folding offensively in the latter innings of games. They followed suit again Monday night in a 6-5 loss to the Rays in the first game of the season between the two American League East contenders. Tampa Bay pulled out to a three-game lead over the Yankees, who are now just one game above the .500 level.
The Yankees’ losing streak reached six games, the longest since Joe Girardi became manager in 2008 and the longest since a seven-game slide in 2007 (April 20-27).
The Yankees did some very good things, not the least of which was to rough up David Price, against whom they scored all their runs, including three on Curtis Granderson’s 14th home run and seventh off a lefthander. The Yanks made Price work and got his pitch count to 98.
Now the Yankees were into the Tampa Bay bullpen, which entering the season was considered a team weakness. It has not turned out that way perhaps because manager Joe Maddon has not had to tax his relievers as Rays starters have consistently provided length (an average of 6 1/3 innings per start). The Rays’ pen lowered its collective ERA to 3.12 with four scoreless innings Monday night.
After Robinson Cano’s leadoff single in the sixth, the Yankees went 0-for-12 the rest of the way against three Tampa Bay relievers. The game got away from the Yanks in the bottom of the sixth when A.J. Burnett squandered a 5-1 lead by giving up five runs and five hits, two of them homers. It marked the second straight game that a Yankees starter coughed up a sizeable lead, which can be dangerous considering the team’s lack of offensive consistency in late innings.
As for the Yankees’ bullpen, eighth-inning specialist Rafael Soriano, back at Tropicana Field against the team for which he led the AL in saves (45) last year, was not available. He will return to New York to be examined Tuesday by team physician Chris Ahmad. Soriano is still bothered by right elbow tightness, which the Yankees hope will not require a stint on the disabled list.
Freddy Garcia climbed back onto the bike Tuesday night after bumpy outings in his two previous starts. The righthander some help from his defense, not to mention some over-aggressive base running by the Royals.
The Yankees were aware Kansas City likes to run (44 stolen bases), which became evident right away when Chris Getz swiped third base with two outs in the first inning. Garcia stranded him there by retiring Billy Butler on a ground ball to shortstop.
The Royals ran themselves out of a potential rally in the third inning. After giving up a leadoff single to Matt Treanor, Garcia made a nice play to glove a sacrifice attempt by Alcides Escobar. Treanor, a catcher, wandered off first base and was thrown out trying to steal second by Garcia. Getz reached base with two out and also was gunned down trying to advance on a ball in the dirt but Russell Martin recovered nicely to get an out at second base.
Melky Cabrera’s home run off a 2-0 pitch leading off the fourth ensured that a Royals player would navigate his way around the bases without incident and tied the game at 1. Garcia gave up back-to-back, one-out singles to Mike Aviles and Treanor in the fifth but escaped damage with a strikeout looking of Escobar and then watched right fielder Nick Swisher skid across the grass to make a run-saving grab of a low liner by Getz.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi allowed Garcia to start the seventh (he had pitched into the eighth his last time out), but after Jeff Francoeur singled and Eric Hosmer walked made the move to the bullpen. David Robertson retired Aviles on a routine fly ball but walked Treanor to fill the bases. After a conference on the mound with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Robertson came back to strike out Escobar and Getz.
It was a key moment for the Yankees because usual eighth-inning reliever Rafael Soriano was not available because of a sore right elbow. He met with team physician Chris Ahmad before the game and is scheduled for an MRI Wednesday.
Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera finished off the 3-1 victory rather nicely to guarantee that Garcia, who lowered his ERA to 2.61, would even his record at 2-2. He has been a terrific addition to the staff. And before you get the idea that the Royals were some kind of pushovers out there, consider that they went into the game with a team batting average 15 points higher than the Yankees’.
This one finished with smiles all around, especially after Rivera made a Gold Glove stop of a hard grounder by Aviles and started a game-ending double play. Mo’s grin was particularly ear-to-ear as he notched his 13th save.
There were smiles, too, for Derek Jeter, who had his third straight multi-hit game and knocked in the Yankees’ first run with a two-out single in the third, and Alex Rodriguez, who unlocked a 1-1 score with a bases-loaded single in the fifth, also after two were out. After going eight games without driving in a run, A-Rod has three RBI in the past two games.
It’s official. The Yankees are in a funk. Until Thursday, they had been the only team in the major leagues that had not lost three games in a row. Now they are not. Their first three-game losing streak came at the hands of the Tigers, who had lost seven straight games after dropping the first game of the series Monday night.
The Yankees threw away Thursday’s game, a 6-3 loss, literally. Two of the three errors they committed led directly to three runs, the deficit in the game. The Yankees’ offense was pretty active with 10 hits, including 3-for-8 (.375) with runners in scoring position, but were overtaken by a Detroit club that had only four hits.
A.J. Burnett continued the run of Yankees starting pitchers going deep into games with a seven-inning outing, and only two of the five runs off him were earned. However, one of the errors was his errant pickoff throw in the first inning that put Don Kelly, who reached base because Burnett hit him with a pitch on a count of 0-2, at third base from where he scored on Brennan Boesch’s sacrifice fly.
The Yankees took the lead in the fourth inning on RBI hits by Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez, who started as subs for resting Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Chavez had to leave the game, however, after suffering a bone fracture in the small toe of his left foot running out his first triple in four years. Chavez was headed back to New York to see club physician Chris Ahmad and may have to go on the disabled list.
That meant Rodriguez had to come into the game as a pinch runner, the first time he had such an assignment since his rookie season of 1995 with the Mariners when he spelled Tino Martinez. A-Rod, who had been on the bench not only resting his body but also a 7-for-50 (.140) slide, wound up with two hits and scored two runs, so maybe he is working himself back to form.
Detroit played some small ball in the sixth inning and tied the score after Ramon Santiago bunted Kelly to second base on a two-out single through the middle by Boesch, who topped off a big game in the eighth with a solo home run off lefthander Boone Logan.
The critical play came in the three-run seventh when the Tigers took control of the game. Burnett lost a 9-pitch duel with Victor Martinez, who singled to center leading off, then walked Magglio Ordonez and hit Ryan Raburn with a pitch to load the bases with none out. Brandon Inge broke the tie with a sacrifice fly, but Burnett should have been out of the inning after getting Santiago out on a bouncer to second baseman Robinson Cano playing in and Kelly on a grounder to short.
Nunez had all the time in the world to throw out Kelly but sailed his peg over first baseman Mark Teixeira. Two runs scored on the error, the second of the game for Nunez and his fifth in 22 innings in the field. For a backup infielder who is supposed to supply solid defense, this is unacceptable. Expect infield coach Mick Kelleher to work with Nunez to correct this part of his game.
Another coach with his work cut out for him is hitting coach Kevin Long. It is not a good sign when two of the three .300 hitters on the club are bench players – Nunez (.385) and Chavez (.303). Cano had two hits Thursday to get back over .300 (.303), but the Yankees had 6-for-32 (.188) with runners in scoring position and left 30 runners on base in the series.
In the space of a week, Phil Hughes has gone from perhaps being lost for the season to returning to the Yankees possibly within two months. That’s right. Hughes could be back on the mound by the All-Star break.
Naturally, a lot has to go right for Phil, and not a lot has for him thus far this year. But with the news that Hughes does not have thoracic outlet syndrome, which had been feared, a course of action has been established for the righthander, who was back in New York to meet with team physician Chris Ahmad.
Dr. Ahmad, who gave Hughes a cortisone injection April 28 to relieve the inflammation in the pitcher’s right shoulder, recommended two more weeks of rest before Hughes can pick up a ball again. If all goes right – there’ that term again – Hughes might be back in six to eight weeks.
“I think he feels much better mentally about bigger concerns being ruled out,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on a media conference call. “Hopefully, this was just a bump in the road, so to speak. I can’t tell you we’re through the woods yet. But my understanding is that he believes the shot will do the trick, or has done the trick, and it will just be another two weeks of rest before we can turn him loose.”
The work of Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.00 ERA) in replacing Hughes in the rotation since he went on the disabled list April 15 because of arm fatigue has helped the Yankees buy some time, but it remains to be seen if Hughes can regain the velocity that helped him be an 18-game winner last year.