Just a couple of days after the New York Yankees found out relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain would miss the rest of the season due to a damaged elbow; the team's second best starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon, limped off the slippery Yankee Stadium field with a "strained left hamstring" on Saturday afternoon.
Yankees GM Brain Cashman told the YES Network, after New York beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0, the injury to Colon "looks like a DL situation."
The one step forward was Ivan Nova's gutsy win against the Indians last night. Nova needed a solid performance to save his spot in the Yankee rotation after being winless since May 17. His continued ineffectiveness would have meant possibly coming out of the bullpen to replace Chamberlain. Now it looks like he will be needed to fill Colon's big spot in the rotation.
The two steps backward are the injuries to Chamberlain and Colon--and they are of mammoth proportions.
Chamberlain had settled nicely into his role as set-up man after Rafael Soriano went out for up to eight weeks. He was having one of his finest seasons.
Now comes Colon's pulled hammy and it could really spell trouble for the Yankees.
The flawless Colon cruised through six innings in the drizzling rain against the Indians when he went to cover first base during Shin-Soo Choo's seventh-inning dribbler down the first base line. Colon's slipped or landed oddly on the damp turf and limped back to the mound. Manager Joe Girardi and team doctor Gene Monahan ran out and convinced the pitcher to exit and take his 2-hit, six strike-out gem to the showers.
Dave Robertson relieved Colon with one out in the seventh and continued to pull his Houdini act by giving up three hits then striking out the side in the eighth. Boone Logan mopped up the ninth.
Girardi wouldn't make any predictions on the possibility of putting Colon on the DL or the extent of the injury to his pitcher's "planting foot." "We won't know anything until tomorrow," he said. "We'll have to wait until he shows up tomorrow."
Colon has resurrected his career after under missing a year and a half of major league play. He had undergone a radical, but controversial, treatment in the Dominican Republic for his damaged right shoulder and elbow. This season, Colon is 5-3 and has become the number two starter on the Yankees rotation. He won his last three starts in dominating fashion. Extended time on the DL would be a real set back for New York.
When asked about Colon's performance so far this season, Alex Rodriguez said, "He [Colon] is off the charts. He is pitching like his Cy Young caliber season in 2005."
A-Rod-- who got Indians starter Mitch Talbot tossed out for plunking him in the sixth-- homered and then compared Colon to the Yankees # 1 ace CC Sabathia.
"He [Colon] has been consistently great all year," said Rodriguez. "He is pitching like 1-A."
If Colon does go on the 15-day DL, it could take longer for the portly pitcher to rehab than other players. He packs over 260 pounds on his short frame and was never known as the best physical specimen on any team.
It's too bad because it looked like Colon was headed for his second straight complete game victory and sensational comeback season.