|Pavano to see another doctor; Proctor, Torre suspended; Igawa sent to minors|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 07 May 2007 18:21|
On a busy Monday in the Bronx, New York shipped struggling lefty Kei Igawa to the minors and learned that reliever Scott Proctor and manager Joe Torre had been suspended by the commissioner's office.
The Yankees also said they'd like to send Pavano to see one more renowned doctor before determining if he needs season-ending elbow surgery.
``We'll pull out all the stops,'' general manager Brian Cashman said. ``Clearly, I want to make sure that we have a really accurate reading on this.''
The team was trying to schedule an appointment for Pavano with Dr. Lewis Yocum in California. Pavano has already been examined by three doctors, including Dr. James Andrews.
``I got three professionals telling me what to do, and now I'm supposed to go to a fourth?'' Pavano said. ``There's ligament damage. ... I don't want to have surgery. But if that's what it takes to get my arm better, that's what I'm going to do.''
A free-agent bust with the Yankees, Pavano is 5-7 in 19 starts for New York since signing a $39.95 million, four-year contract before the 2005 season. He was sidelined from June 2005 until last month by shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries.
Proctor was suspended four games and Torre was penalized one game, a day after a skirmish between the Yankees and Seattle Mariners.
Proctor appealed his suspension, meaning he can pitch until a hearing is held and a ruling is issued. He also was fined $1,500.
``Thought it was a little strong,'' Proctor said. ``Whatever it was, I was willing to handle it.''
Torre wasn't in the dugout for Monday night's 3-2 loss to the Mariners. Bench coach Don Mattingly managed the Yankees in his absence.
The problems started Sunday after Josh Phelps went out of his way to barrel into Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima while scoring the game's first run. When Phelps came up to bat again, Jarrod Washburn hit him in the back with the first pitch. At that point, the umpires warned both dugouts for the second time in three days.
Proctor threw inside to Yuniesky Betancourt in the seventh. Betancourt pointed his bat toward the mound, catcher Wil Nieves grabbed him, and the benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown, but Proctor and Torre were ejected.
Proctor, used heavily all season, joked that the suspension would give him a welcome rest.
``They can wear me out pretty good before that,'' he said.
As for Igawa, the Yankees optioned him to Class A Tampa to make room on the roster for right-hander Matt DeSalvo, who allowed one run and three hits over seven innings Monday night in his impressive major league debut.
The move kept right-hander Darrell Rasner in the big leagues after he pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings Sunday in a victory over Seattle. New York had planned to send Rasner right back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after his start, but changed course.
Rasner, 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in four starts, is likely to get the ball again Friday night in Seattle.
The Yankees spent $46 million to bring Igawa over from Japan in the offseason and expected him to fill a spot at the back of their rotation. He has largely been a disappointment, going 2-1 with a 7.63 ERA in six games, including five starts. The 27-year-old lefty has allowed eight homers and 14 walks in 30 2-3 innings.
``There's some things he's got to fix, mechanically, we believe,'' Cashman said. ``He's got major league ability, we have no doubt about that. We've seen it in three games. But we haven't seen it consistently.''
Igawa will work to rectify his delivery with Nardi Contreras, the club's pitching coordinator in Tampa, Fla.
``I want to emphasize on basics,'' Igawa said through a translator. ``I knew with the Yankees if you don't show the results up here in the major leagues, the Yankees demote you to the minors. I knew that before I signed.''
Igawa acknowledged his transition to the big leagues has been difficult.
``It's not only baseball, my lifestyle has changed completely. The rotation, the number of days in between pitching has changed completely,'' he said. ``It's everything, so I'm going to make sure when I go down to the minors I'll (figure) out the best way to adjust and get back.''
DeSalvo's outing made the injury-ravaged Yankees the first team in major league history to use 10 starting pitchers in its first 30 games. The 26-year-old right-hander was 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA at Triple-A this season.
There is more help on the way. Roger Clemens revealed that he'll return to New York this season with a dramatic announcement from the owner's box at Yankee Stadium during the seventh-inning stretch Sunday.
He'll begin his workouts at the University of Kentucky, close to where his son, Koby, is playing for a Houston Astros farm team, and expects to be pitching in the big leagues by late May or early June.
``It's going to be a huge lift,'' good friend Andy Pettitte said. ``I think everybody is extremely excited to have him back. I'm excited to be able to pitch with him again.''
Notes: Rookie RHP Phil Hughes (hamstring) is recovering quickly and could be back a bit sooner than initially anticipated, Cashman said. Hughes took a no-hitter into the seventh inning last Tuesday at Texas before getting hurt. He was originally expected to miss four to six weeks.