Francisco Cervelli headed to DL

NEW YORK -- Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain Monday and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs.

However, it is expected Cervelli will be out significantly longer than that. A Grade 2 strain, while not the most severe form of the injury, often entails a four- to six-week recovery. Last season, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton missed six weeks with a similar injury.

Cervelli was injured legging out a potential inning-ending double-play ball in the fourth inning of Sunday night's 3-2 win against the Boston Red Sox. He was initially called out at first, but after manager Joe Girardi requested a review of the play, the call was overturned, resulting in the Yankees scoring what turned out to be the winning run.

Cervelli, who started the game at first base in place of Kelly Johnson, the regular third baseman who was himself substituting for the injured Mark Teixeira, tumbled to the ground in obvious pain as he crossed first and was immediately removed from the game. Cervelli was replaced at first by outfielder Carlos Beltran, who had never played the position in a major league game.

The Yankees have not announced who will be recalled from the minors to replace Cervelli as the backup to Brian McCann, who was also slightly injured in Sunday night's game when a pitch that hit batter A.J. Pierzynski on the elbow ricocheted off McCann's right hand. X-rays taken of the hand on Monday were negative.

The most likely candidates to replace Cervelli are Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy, both of whom are catching for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Cervelli's injury was the latest blow to the Yankees, who currently have Teixeira on the DL with a Grade 1 calf strain and were without shortstop Derek Jeter (quad strain) and second baseman Brian Roberts (back injury) Sunday night. Closer David Robertson is also on the DL with a groin strain.

Teixeira is expected to return to the lineup when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday. The earliest Robertson can return is April 22.

The Yankees also announced they have optioned right-handed pitcher Shane Greene to Triple-A Scranton.