The New York Yankees have question marks in their starting rotation with wildcards in former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and ex-Pirate Jameson Taillon and are expected to rely heavily on their bullpen, but the Bronx Bombers will not have reliever Zach Britton to start the year. The 33-year-old lefty had soreness in his elbow and an MRI revealed bone chips that will require arthroscopic surgery. It is expected that Britton will be out at least a month, which will put more of a burden on former Met Justin Wilson and Chad Green to fill the eighth-inning role behind closer Aroldis Chapman.
The Yankees had the injury bug strike again on Wednesday, as reserve catcher Robinson Chirinos suffered a fractured wrist after being struck by a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In more favorable news, starter Luis Severino threw for the first time at the Yankees facility in Tampa, FL since being shut down and undergoing Tommy John surgery last February. According to the New York Post, the righty threw 20 pitches with manager Aaron Boone observing and the session went off without a hitch. Severino is expected to be back in July or August barring any setbacks.
Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic was at the center of the controversy that resulted in team president Kevin Mather’s resignation last month, as he indicated that the club would keep the club’s top prospect in the minors early in the season to extend his service time and ability to qualify for free agency.
The former Mets first-rounder injured his knee in a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox and is expected to be out a few weeks, which ironically might have prevented him from being healthy enough to start the season in Seattle.
The Houston Astros were hoping that pitching prospect Forrest Whitley might help fill the gap left by former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander missing the entire 2021 season recovering from arm surgery, but the 23-year-old righty was was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and according to manager Dusty Baker will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Whitley’s injury may have provided some impetus for the Astros to ink veteran Jake Odorizzi to a two-year contract, who will join a staff that includes Zach Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr.