Beltran plans to see if the injury will heal over the next two-plus weeks in an effort to avoid undergoing elbow surgery, which would keep him out of action for six to eight weeks. The 37-year-old veteran has not played since Monday, when he removed himself from a game against the Mets after an 0-for-3 start. A day later, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported that Beltran may need surgery to correct the issue.
Ichiro Suzuki is expected to see more playing time while Beltran is out of the lineup, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Mercogliano. Suzuki has recently dealt with a back injury and been out of action since Sunday, so in the event he's not ready to go when the Yankees resume playing games with the DH in place, second-year outfielder Zoilo Almonte could be called upon to fill Beltran's shoes.
Almonte posted a 59 OPS+ in 113 plate appearances a year ago, and counting on the 40-year-old Ichiro to sustain the 130 OPS+ he's achieved in his first 58 plate appearances of 2014 doesn't seem wise, especially if his health doesn't hold up. As a result, the Yankees could find themselves in the familiar position a month from now as aggressive buyers on the trade market should Beltran require surgery.
Beltran hit .234/.286/.430 with five home runs in 140 plate appearances prior to the injury. The eight-time All-Star is in the first year of a three-year, $45 million deal.