The Yankees’ heralded bullpen depth could be tested early.
Andrew Miller broke his non-pitching wrist when struck on the right arm by a line drive in the seventh inning of New York’s 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
The left-hander threw his glove and walked into the Yankees’ dugout after pinch-hitter Willians Astudillo’s comebacker went off his arm, just above the wrist. X-rays were negative, but a CT scan revealed a chip fracture.
“He will see a hand specialist, who will determine the next course of action,” New York said ina statement.
Julio Teheran, Atlanta’s scheduled opening-day starter Monday against Washington, allowed four hits in five scoreless innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked none.
“I feel good about my whole spring. This was my last start and I feel ready for the season,” Teheran said. “Everything is working now. I’m just trying to pitch like it’s a regular game.”
Miller was the Yankees’ closer last year and was slated to fill that role while Aroldis Chapman serves a 30-game suspension under baseball’s new domestic abuse policy. If Miller is sidelined, Dellin Betances would open the season as closer.
Competing for the fifth spot in New York’s rotation, Ivan Nova pitched six innings of two-hit bal, struck out two and walked one.
“I did my part and they’re going to make the decision,” Nova said. “Remember, I’m not fighting against a guy with one year or two years. CC Sabathia has a lot of history. He’s not an easy fight, but I did my part and hopefully I won the spot.”
Back-to-back triples by Dustin Fowler and Billy Fleming and a single by Austin Romine off Alexi Ogando accounted for the Yankees’ runs in the eighth.
Aaron Hicks had three of New York’s 10 hits.
Yankees: Nova went 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts last season.
Braves: Teheran, who issued 73 walks in 200 2-3 innings last season, felt good about only walking two this spring.
“That’s part of what I want to do,” he said. “I want to be attacking hitters, even when I get behind in counts. That’s something you want to get into before the season starts.”
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury had the day off after playing three consecutive games after missing a week due to a bruised right wrist. He is scheduled to play in a split-squad game Thursday against Detroit. … RHP Bryan Mitchell sprained his left big toe in the eighth inning and will have an MRI.
WHAT TO DO WITH NO. 6?
One of the complications in the Yankees’ decision on a fifth starter is what to do with the loser of the competition.
“I really don’t think any of them have really pitched out of the pen. Nova has a marginal amount of games,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “If you ask him, it’s completely foreign. If you ask CC it’s foreign. Whoever is not going to be the fifth starter is going to be asked to do something they’re not comfortable doing, period.”
Yankees: RHPs Nick Goody and Branden Pinder and LHP Tyler Olson were send down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Girardi named Ronald Torreyes as the backup infielder. … The winner of the backup catcher competition between favorite Romine and Carlos Corporan will be announced Thursday.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, and Atlanta also reassigned C Ryan Lavarnway and C Blake Lalli, leaving 32 players in camp, including 18 pitchers.
Yankees: Girardi said he will check on RHP Masahiro Tanaka’s bullpen session before naming a starter for Monday’s season opener. RHP Michael Pineda is scheduled to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday in Tampa while RHP Nathan Eovaldi pitches a split-squad game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.
Braves: RHP Bud Norris will make his final spring training start against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota on Thursday.