MINNEAPOLIS -- The New York Yankees placed infielder Jayson Nix on the 15-day disabled list before their game Wednesday at Minnesota because of a strained right hamstring, and free agent infielder Luis Cruz was signed to fill in.
Nix didn't play Tuesday against the Twins but said then he thought he would be able to play after a day to rest. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, however, an MRI test revealed a more severe Grade 2 strain than initially believed, and the team decided to shut down Nix.
"I think we were all surprised," Girardi said, praising Nix's toughness but stressing the need for precaution with his injury-ravaged team.
With Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira already on the disabled list, the Yankees are missing a whole lot of experience and production. Nix has started 40 games at shortstop and 24 games at third base, almost 80 per cent of their games with the season-long absences of Jeter and Rodriguez.
Jeter has been recovering from surgery on his left ankle. Girardi said the team captain has been making progress in his rehabilitation and, he hopes, will soon return to the team.
Another infielder, Eduardo Nunez, is on a rehab assignment with Class A Charleston for his strained left oblique. He is eligible to be activated this weekend, but Girardi declined to speculate on when Nunez would be back.
The 29-year-old Cruz was let go by the Los Angeles Dodgers last week after hitting just .127 in 118 at-bats. Cruz has played shortstop, third base and second base during stints with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh since making his major league debut in 2008. Cruz was in the lineup Wednesday at shortstop, batting eighth.