KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Eduardo Nunez is missing his fifth straight game on Saturday with soreness in his ribcage, and with a makeup doubleheader looming on Monday, it looks like a pretty good bet he will wind up on the disabled list.
"I thought he’d be ready, but he’s not ready, so we’ll have to make an evaluation," manager Joe Girardi said before Saturday night's game against the Royals. "We’re going into a doubleheader on Monday and we’re going to need some extra infielders. We’re going to need another player if he can’t go, so we’ll see."
Nunez took some swings in the cage and infield practice on Friday and said he "felt better," but apparently that did not mean he felt nothing. When he came in Saturday, he told team trainer Steve Donohue that he still felt "a little something" in his ribcage, so it was decided that he would do nothing on Saturday.
"I was under the impression that he felt better yesterday, and when they said better, I thought that meant he didn’t feel it," Girardi said. "But he still feels it a little bit. So I was under the wrong impression."
Nunez left a game against the Athletics last Sunday in the fifth inning complaining of soreness where his abdominal wall meets the left side of his ribcage. Each day since, he has reported some improvement, but not enough to allow him to play. If the Yankees decide to place him on the DL, they could retroactive it to Monday, May 6, meaning he would be nearly halfway through the stint already.
Under the rules, the Yankees are also allowed to add a 26th man for Monday because of the unscheduled doubleheader, but Girardi indicated the club would use that move to add a pitcher. The possibility of putting Nunez on the DL was discussed between Girardi and GM Brian Cashman on Saturday morning and will be readdressed after Saturday's game. In Nunez's absence, Jayson Nix has become the Yankees' starting shortstop.
"It’s a long day and a lot can happen," Girardi said. "Those are things we'll talk about after the game tonight."
Possible replacements for Nunez include Corban Joseph and Ronnier Mustelier, both playing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Third baseman David Adams is not eligible to be recalled until Wednesday.