And then there was one. The New York Yankees’ three-headed relief-pitching monster is missing two parts, at least for the time being, after Andrew Miller was hit by a line drive Wednesday and suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist.
The good news is that the injury was to Miller’s non-throwing arm. The team is holding its breath on the severity of the bad news as it is unclear how long the fracture, which occurred just five days before New York’s season opener, will keep Miller out of action.
The Yankees already know that they will be without Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games thanks to the flame-throwing Cuban’s suspension for a domestic-violence incident. In the absences of Chapman and Miller, Dellin Betances, who forms the third member of what the team hopes will eventually become a devastating late-game triumvirate, will take over as the closer.
Miller was hit by a ball off the bat of the Atlanta Braves’ Willians Astudillo in the seventh inning of a spring training game in Kissimmee, Fla. Miller left the game immediately, and a CT scan later revealed his injury.
Miller, 30, performed well as the Yankees’ closer in 2015, converting 36 of 38 save opportunities with a 2.04 ERA. New York gave him a four-year, $36 million contract before the season.
The Yankees’ bullpen took another blow in the same game Wednesday, when righthander Bryan Mitchell suffered a toe injury. He is also waiting for word on the severity of his injury, but it appeared to be something that might merit a trip to the disabled list.
“It’s substantial because the one thing we’ve talked about is we liked our bullpen and the length that it has,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said of the injuries (via Newsday). “You lose one, someone has to step up. You lose two and you’re asking a lot. But we’ll have to figure it out if it comes to fruition.”