Worries growing over Chamberlain

TAMPA — The Yankees' low level of concern about RHP Joba Chamberlain's injured oblique just got a little higher.

Manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that team doctors in New York were looking over an MRI exam Chamberlain had Monday. He last pitched Friday and is on hold until further notice.

"Whenever a pitcher — or anybody — is dealing with an oblique, there's always concern," Girardi said. "He's been asymptomatic, but he hasn't thrown. … It's one thing to feel okay, and it's another thing to go through the motion and feel okay."

Sergio Mitre, who was scratched from his start Monday because of a similar injury, is ahead of Chamberlain, Girardi said. Mitre did not have an MRI exam, and the Yankees are hopeful he can throw a bullpen session Thursday.

COLON SHARP: RHP Bartolo Colon, competing with RHPs Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and Mitre for one of two open spots in the rotation behind LHP CC Sabathia and RHPs Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett, allowed four hits and struck out seven in six scoreless innings of a simulated game.

"As the time goes by, I feel better and better," Colon said through a translator. "I need to continue to work, and made the decision tough."

Phils: 3B tweaked

DUNEDIN — Phillies 3B Placido Polanco re-injured his surgically repaired left elbow in the first inning against the Blue Jays.

Polanco hyperextended his elbow on a swing in his only plate appearance. He stayed in to play defense in the bottom half but was replaced by Wilson Valdez when the second inning began.

"It's just a day-to-day thing I think," Polanco said. "When I've had it before, I never stopped playing. But since I had surgery, they took me out."

Polanco was limited to 132 games in 2010 while dealing with chronic left elbow pain. He had scar tissue and bone spurs removed from the arm when he had surgery in November.

"It's right where I had the surgery, but it's nothing bad," he said. "I've had it before. I've had it a million times. But the fact that I had surgery on that elbow, we're being safe. We're playing it very safe. We'll see how it feels tomorrow and the next day, take it a day at a time."

LIDGE IMPROVING: Closer Brad Lidge, who was scratched from his scheduled appearance Monday with right biceps tendinitis, played catch and could throw off a mound as soon as Thursday, general manager Ruben Amaro said.

Jays: Fickle finger

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero has had little good news since being named the Blue Jays' opening day starter.

Saturday, a day after the announcement, Romero walked five and allowed four runs in 32/3 innings against the Pirates. Now a finger that appeared to bother him during that outing will keep him out of his next scheduled start Thursday against the Phillies.

Romero was diagnosed with a slight strain in his left middle finger. He's not expected to miss the season opener.

"There's some minor inflammation in there that's causing that little bit of discomfort, so we'll skip his next start," manager John Farrell said. "He'll still get two more starts in camp. It will get him to 90 pitches which is the goal of every starter. So nothing has changed in terms of the regular season."

LHP Jo-Jo Reyes will start in Romero's place today.

SETBACK: OF Scott Podsednik, who aggravated the plantar fasciitis in his left foot Friday, will be wearing a cast for at least the next 10 days, making it unlikely he'll be ready for opening day, MLB.com reported.

.fast facts

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429 or bluejays.mlb.com

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457 or phillies.mlb.com

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244 or yankees.mlb.com

Worries growing over Chamberlain 03/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:22pm]

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