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Stephen Drew has vestibular concussion, unlikely for postseason

BALTIMORE -- New York Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew is unlikely to see any postseason action after being diagnosed with a vestibular concussion that has caused him dizziness and loss of equilibrium for nearly a month.

Drew was examined by Dr. Michael Collins, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, on Wednesday, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said an impact test revealed the concussion. In 2013, Collins treated Drew when he suffered a concussion from a beaning while with the Boston Red Sox.

Girardi said Drew was in New York and would not join the team in Baltimore this weekend for the final games of the season, and was not expected to be available for any postseason play. The Yankees' game against the Orioles was one of three to be postponed Friday due to heavy rain related and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday.

"For right now it's doubtful because he still hasn't been playing," Girardi said.

Drew has started only three games since Sept. 9, when he was struck in the face by a hard grounder that glanced off his glove in a game against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Drew thought that blow might have contributed to his problems, although he said he was noticing symptoms before that, when he developed fluid in his ears after having a bad head cold.

"It's just constant right now,'' Drew said of the dizziness. "I have to concentrate for ground balls and hitting and everything because of my balance and feeling the way I do. It's not that I don't want to go. It's just not fair to me and it's not fair to the team.''

The diagnosis probably means the end of Drew's disappointing tenure as a Yankee. Despite hitting just .150 in 46 games in 2014, the Yankees re-signed him to a one-year deal for 2015 worth $5 million. This season, he hit 17 home runs but batted just .201. In his place, Dustin Ackley and rookie Rob Refsnyder have formed a lefty-righty-hitting second-base platoon.

The Yankees also got some good news Friday: Nathan Eovaldi, the starting pitcher with the most wins on their staff (14), threw a bullpen session for the first time since being shut down on Sept. 7 with inflammation in his right elbow. Girardi said he might be available for use out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the American League Division Series.

"Tuesday is out of the question,'' Girardi said, referring to the wild-card game the Yankees need to win to reach the American League Division Series. "But moving forward after that, it is something we will look at. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. I don't think you could necessarily count him out."

Eovaldi is scheduled to throw another bullpen session at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Girardi said he would need to face live hitters, either in a simulated game or down at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, before he could be added to a playoff roster. If all goes well, Girardi said he thought he could use Eovaldi in single-inning relief appearances throughout the playoffs.