Yanks' Holmes likely out until Division Series; Britton hurt

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees All-Star closer Clay Holmes received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right rotator cuff and likely won't pitch again until the Division Series starts on Oct. 11.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone revealed the latest injury to his banged-up bullpen after Friday night's 2-1 loss to Baltimore. Left-hander Zack Britton, back last week following a one-year layoff to recuperate from Tommy John surgery, threw a tiebreaking wild pitch in the sixth inning, then left with left arm fatigue.

“There’s no use crying about what you do or don’t have,” Boone said. “You got to make the most of what you do. And the reality is we still have a lot of really talented guys down there.”

Holmes was stellar with a 1.41 ERA and 16 saves in 18 chances before the All-Star break, then had an 8.22 ERA in his next eight appearances and didn't pitch between Aug. 12 and 29 because of back spasms.

He compiled a 3.07 ERA in 13 games since returning, the last Tuesday at Toronto, when he got three straight groundouts in the ninth inning of New York's 10-inning loss. He felt discomfort on a couple of pitches and went for an MRI on Thursday.

“I said something when I needed to and called it early enough where it didn't become something major,” Holmes said. “The plan right now is to be ready for the Division Series.”

He won't throw for several days and hopes to pitch batting practice before the playoffs.

“You just have to pay attention to a lot of details coming back ad every throw you have, you got to make the most of it,” he said.

Britton threw just nine pitches — six of them out of the strike zone — in just his third big league appearance following Tommy John surgery. The 34-year-old left-hander entered with two on and no outs in the sixth inning, and the score tied at 1. He walked Gunnar Henderson, then threw a 1-1 sinker to pinch-hitter Jesús Aguilar that sailed outside and hit the backstop on a bounce.

Britton failed to cover the plate as a run scored.

“We didn’t want to push through something and try reach for something that wasn’t there and then end up hurting yourself,” Boone said. “I think he’s all right.”

A two-time All-Star, Britton was operated on by Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Sept. 8 last year. Britton had the UCL in his left elbow reconstructed and also had a bone chip removed.

He made eight minor league injury rehabilitation appearances from Aug. 24 through Tuesday, allowing one run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for Class A Tampa, Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Britton returned to the major leagues on Sept. 24 against Boston and also pitched Wednesday at Toronto. He got one out in each appearance but had trouble with control, walking five.

Britton has 154 saves in 11 major league seasons and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

Boone said right-handers Albert Abreu (right elbow inflammation) and Miguel Castro (rght shoulder strain) could be activated but right-hander Stephen Ridings (right shoulder impingement) is not an option.


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