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Yankees place Pettitte on 15-day disabled list

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

The 40-year old pitcher will become the 13th Yankees player to be put on the disabled list so far this season.

Add starting pitcher Andy Pettitte to the long list of All-Stars on the New York Yankees' disabled list.

Pettitte was placed on the 15-day DL Friday because of a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back. He expects to return as soon as he is eligible.

"We don't think it's overly serious but we want to pay it safe," general manager Brian Cashman said. "I didn't expect him to give us 200 innings this year, regardless."

Vidal Nuno is being recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will move into a rotation already missing Ivan Nova.

Pettitte is the 13th Yankees player to serve a stint on the DL and the 11th currently sidelined. He joins shortstops Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, third basemen Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis, catcher Francisco Cervelli and starting pitchers Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, and reliever Joba Chamberlain and Cesar Cabral on the sidelines.

Curtis Granderson returned this week from a broken forearm, and right-hander Phil Hughes also missed time last month.

Despite all the injuries and roster shuffling - the Yankees have used 35 players this year - New York began Friday in first place in the AL East at 25-16.

The left-handed Pettitte, who will turn 41 next month, was trying for his 250th win Thursday when the muscle began to spasm. He left the game against Seattle with two outs in the fifth inning.

Pettitte (4-3), who missed a start in April because of lower back problems, understood the move but still wasn't happy.

"Anytime you got to go on the DL it's disappointing," Pettitte said. "It spasmed up so bad last night that I think I'm sore from that. ... But I feel good."

Cashman couldn't justify keeping Pettitte on the active roster, even if the pitcher was going to miss just one start.

The Yankees are in a stretch where they are playing 17 games in 16 days. A CC Sabathia start was cut short by a rain delay, and Hughes lasted just two outs Wednesday.

"Given his age, given the time of year, he wouldn't start in five days. I'm not in the position to carry an extra player and hope it's resolved," Cashman said.

Nuno pitched five innings of three-hit ball to win his first major league start on Monday, in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland.

In a bit of positive news, the Yankees did not place catcher Chris Stewart on the DL after he hurt his groin Thursday night. An MRI was negative, and Stewart said he was feeling much better. He will be used as Austin Romine's backup for the next few games.

"Walking's fine. It's just running when I push off it's still there a little bit so give it a couple of days," Stewart said.

Cashman said Youkilis took batting practice with a coach pitching at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla. Youkilis has been out with a back injury since April 28, but there is no timetable for his return. Youkilis also fielded 26 grounders at third base and ran from first to third and back three times on the grass just behind the infield dirt.

Joba Chamberlain (right oblique strain) played long toss at Yankee Stadium and is lined up for a bullpen session Sunday. After that, New York will decide whether he is going to have another bullpen session or go out for a rehab appearance, Cashman said.

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