Just days after placing C.C. Sabathia on the disabled list, the injury bug continues to bite in New York. The Yankees have added reliever Shawn Kelley to the disabled list on Tuesday due to persistent back problems, recalling outfielder Zoilo Almonte to take his place on the active roster, according to Joel Sherman at the New York Post.
Kelley has been sidelined since May 6 due to tightness in his lower back. The team has resisted placing him on the disabled list, as they thought that a few days of rest would make a difference. Kelley was reportedly available to pitch on Monday, but failed to appear for New York after telling coaches he’d tightened up again following batting practice. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch relayed after the game that manager Joe Girardi still thought that he’d be able to pitch the next day. “He’s still not right,” Girardi said. “I thought we would have him today. He just does not have the flexibility to finish his pitches, so I didn’t have him.”
Kelley has made 16 appearances for New York out of the bullpen with a 3.52 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 15 1/3 IP. He was a surprise choice to fill in for David Robertson as closer earlier in the year, but Kelley pitched well in the role, picking up four saves. Almonte would appear to be an unusual callup candidate to replace a relief pitcher, but the team has other injury matters they are currently addressing. Carlos Beltran left Monday night’s game with a hyper-extended elbow and Ichiro Suzuki sat out with a stiff back. Almonte adds some outfield depth if one or both of them are forced to sit out a few games. He had been hitting .273/.324/.470 in 142 plate appearances at Triple-A.