By DAVE SKRETTA,  AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano has an inflamed
ligament in his right elbow that could keep the former All-Star out
up to two months, depriving manager Joe Girardi of his main bridge
to Mariano Rivera.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Soriano was
examined Wednesday by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola,
Fla. Andrews recommended that Soriano rest the elbow for about two
weeks before beginning a light throwing program.

Cashman doesn’t think Soriano will be able to face hitters for
at least six weeks.

“It’s concerning that he’s got a problem right now,” Cashman
said after the Yankees’ 7-3 victory over Toronto. “It’s not good
when you have pitchers having swollen ligaments.”

Soriano signed a three-year, $35 million deal with New York in
the offseason to handle the eighth inning, but he struggled while
adapting to the new role. He was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 16
appearances before the injury landed him on the disabled list May

Soriano has undergone several MRI exams in an attempt to
diagnose the injury, including one on Tuesday, the day after he
reported pain in the elbow during a throwing session.

The ligament is the same one that Andrews repaired with Tommy
John surgery in 2004.

Soriano also spent time on the disabled list in 2008 while with
the Atlanta Braves before more elbow surgery that August. He had
his best season last year closing for Tampa Bay.

“He’s got, obviously, a real issue,” Cashman said. “It’s
something we have to take care of, we have to be careful with, and
if it’s taken care of properly, it’ll be behind him.”

The Yankees added some depth to their relievers Wednesday by
claiming Kanekoa Texeira off waivers and optioning him to Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees lost Texeira in the Rule 5 draft
to Seattle, and he’s spent parts of the past two seasons with
Kansas City.

Texeira is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 49 relief appearances in the
major leagues.
New York transferred Phil Hughes to the 60-day disabled list to
make room for Texeira on their 40-man roster. The decision is
mostly a housekeeping move for Hughes, who hasn’t pitched since
April 14 after experiencing a lack of velocity in his first three

“That will take him to about June 14,” Cashman said. “He
won’t be back by June 14, so it’s more of an administrative roster

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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