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Blood vessel could KO Joba

Blood vessel could KO Joba

Joba Chamberlain "popped a blood vessel" in his right thumb during batting practice yesterday, according to manager Joe Girardi, and may not start today against the Orioles.

Girardi said he held long reliever Alfredo Aceves out of last night's 12-5 loss to the Orioles in case Chamberlain can't pitch today.

Girardi said the thumb was black and blue. He said he wasn't sure exactly how it happened and that perhaps "a stitch" on the Baseball cut Chamberlain.

"I guess he was throwing a ball and he kind of popped a blood vessel," Girardi said. "We don't think it will be an issue, we really don't. We have to protect ourselves, because if he can't go, Ace will be on the mound."

Chamberlain was unavailable for comment. He left Camden Yards early last night, which is not unusual for the next day's starting pitcher.

"I found that out about 6:30," Girardi said. "Playing catch, he was fine. He threw a ball in and he looked down at his hand and he felt something and he had popped a blood vessel. But he got some treatment during the game. ... He was able to grip the ball tonight during the game. ... I don't know what it's going to be like" today.

The Yankees called up right-hander Brett Tomko yesterday, adding an experienced arm to their inexperienced bullpen. Tomko, 36, was 1-0 with four saves and a 0.64 ERA for Triple-A Scranton, following up an impressive spring in which he posted a 1.17 ERA in 15 1/3 innings.

After losing out to Jonathan Albaladejo for the final bullpen spot at the end of spring training, Tomko asked the organization if he could work as the closer at Triple A, giving him late-inning, short-relief experience after spending the majority of his career as a starter.

"Not that I'm ever going to be a closer," Tomko said, "but I thought it would be a good way to get into the heart of the game, to pitch when it was on the line."

To make room for Tomko on the active roster, the Yankees optioned right-hander Dave Robertson to Scranton. Right-hander Eric Hacker was also designated for assignment, opening a spot on the 40-man roster for Tomko.

Alex Rodriguez said he felt "about the same" when he woke up yesterday morning, something the third baseman took as a good sign after playing in his first full game since his March 9 hip surgery.

A-Rod was back in the lineup last night, looking to follow up his dramatic season debut after hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat. He went 12 for 4 with a walk and struck out twice.

Chien-Ming Wang (adductor muscle weakness in his hips) will throw 100 pitches in a minor-league game on Tuesday, though the Yankees haven't yet decided where that will be. Wang threw five scoreless innings in an intrasquad game on Thursday, giving up three hits and striking out seven. ... Brian Bruney (elbow) played catch yesterday and reported no problems. Bruney will throw again Monday from 90 feet, then move on to long toss to test his injured arm.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News contributed to this report.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 13, 2009

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