New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran left Monday night’s game early after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow. In the lineup as the team’s designated hitter, he was swinging a bat in the cages below the dugout inbetween at bats when he first started to feel the pain. The team had him undergo an MRI exam which revealed a bone spur in his right elbow that Beltran had previously been unaware of, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Beltran received a cortisone shot, with the hope that it will help alleviate the pain long enough to let Beltran continue playing. He told Hoch that he could end up having surgery down the road to shave down the bone spur, but he hopes it can wait until the offseason. Manager Joe Girardi says the team will give him a few days before making any decisions regarding Beltran and the DL.
One of the Yankees’ high priced free agent additions this past offseason, Beltran has hit .234/.286/.430 in 140 PA on the year, adding five home runs and ten doubles. This is the first season of a three year, $45 Million contract. Beltran had hit .296/.339/.491 in 600 PA a year ago for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Losing Beltran for an extended period of time would certainly have a lasting impact on the Yankees’ roster over the remainder of the season. The team has been hit hard by injuries though most have been relegated to their pitching staff. There are concerns in the outfield, however, as Ichiro Suzuki has missed time with a sore back. None of the team’s remaining outfield options would represent a solid replacement for Beltran in right field on a consistent basis. New York could be faced with either playing Alfonso Soriano in the outfield more frequently or going with an unproven player along the likes of Zoilo Almonte barring an outside addition.