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Sunday, July 5, 2009
Updated: July 6, 2:22 PM ET
MRI shows strain, bursitis

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang was put on the disabled list Sunday with a right shoulder strain, and manager Joe Girardi said he's not sure how long the right-hander will be out of the rotation.

Wang, who missed time earlier this season with a hip injury, won't begin throwing until at least after the All-Star break.

"He has a shoulder strain and they want to give it a rest and a chance to build back up a bit, and when we get back he'll start playing catch," Girardi said. "It's a week off in a sense, but we have the All-Star break, so it ends up being two weeks."

Wang
Wang

Girardi isn't sure who will fill in for Wang on Thursday at Minnesota, although he's almost certain it won't be young right-hander Phil Hughes.

Hughes began the year as one of the Yankees' insurance policies for the starting rotation, but he's been especially effective coming out of the bullpen. He has a 1.23 ERA in nine relief appearances and has not allowed a run in his past 10 outings.

"Hughes has been a one-inning guy for a while," Girardi said. "It's hard to go to Minnesota and say, 'Give us 40 pitches,' because then you're still going to your bullpen. You're still chewing up your bullpen."

That means New York might try Alfredo Aceves, who also isn't stretched out, or a starter-by-committee approach. The Yankees also could call on Sergio Mitre, who is 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre.

Girardi said he'd discuss the situation with general manager Brian Cashman, but in the meantime, the club recalled reliever Jonathan Albaladejo from Triple-A.

"The only day this really comes into play in the next two and a half weeks is Thursday," Girardi said. "That is helpful for us."

Wang allowed four runs and six hits before he was replaced in the sixth inning Saturday, just after surrendering a two-run homer to Adam Lind and throwing a pitch to Scott Rolen. Catcher Jorge Posada motioned to the dugout and Girardi and assistant trainer Steve Donohue came out to the mound, and Wang headed for the dugout after a short discussion.

Wang, who also had shoulder problems in 2001 and '05, won a combined 38 games in 2006 and 2007, but was 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games this season. He'd looked better of late, earning his first win of the season in his previous start and going at least five innings in each of his past four outings.

"It's not convenient because I thought Chien-Ming Wang was throwing the ball better," Girardi said. "Yesterday, five innings, 55 pitches, and now this happens."