NEW YORK (AP) The first-place Yankees are about to get a pair of important players back at once.
New York closer Andrew Miller and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury are expected to come off the disabled list before Wednesday night's game against Oakland.
Miller has been sidelined since June 10 with a strained left forearm, while Ellsbury has been out since May 20 with a sprained right knee.
Prior to Tuesday night's series opener with the Athletics, manager Joe Girardi said Miller's lone rehab outing Monday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre went well. Miller allowed two hits and struck out one in a scoreless inning that took only nine pitches. So he threw more in the bullpen afterward, Girardi said.
The team announced Monday that Ellsbury was done playing rehab games with Class A Tampa and would return Wednesday after participating in simulated game activities for a couple of days.
Miller and Ellsbury were each part of a 1-2 punch that helped fuel New York's success early this season.
All-Star reliever Dellin Betances and Miller teamed up to provide a lock-down combination at the back of the bullpen, while Ellsbury and Brett Gardner gave the Yankees two dangerous speedsters at the top of the lineup.
''It's going to be huge,'' Alex Rodriguez said when asked about Ellsbury's return. ''I think having those guys at the top of the order 1-2, I mean, we saw it for a little while this year. They were pretty fun to watch.''
Miller will probably slide right back into the closer's role, Girardi said.
The left-hander is perfect in 17 save chances this season, his first with the Yankees after signing a $36 million, four-year contract. He is 0-1 with a 1.03 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 26 1-3 innings.
Betances entered Tuesday 5 for 6 in save opportunities since Miller was injured.
Ellsbury had a .412 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases when he got hurt. He had scored 29 runs in 37 games.
His return should also allow Girardi to platoon Chris Young and Garrett Jones in right field, as Gardner moves from center back to left. With switch-hitter Carlos Beltran on the disabled list, Young and Jones have both been starting - one in each corner outfield spot.