New York Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano, in the first season of a three-year, $35 million contract, was placed on the 15-day disabled list today because of soreness in his right elbow.
Soriano has been experiencing discomfort in his pitching elbow since May 1 and yesterday cut short a bullpen session in St. Petersburg, Florida. His lone relief appearance in the past week was in a May 13 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
The 31-year-old Soriano has struggled in his first Major League Baseball season with the Yankees, with a 1-1 record and a 5.40 earned run average in 16 games. He’s allowed 26 baserunners -- 15 hits and 11 walks -- in 15 innings.
Soriano signed with the Yankees as the set-up man for closer Mariano Rivera after leading the American League with 45 saves last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s had surgery on his right elbow twice, most recently in 2008.
The Yankees, who have lost six straight games, brought outfielder Chris Dickerson up from the minor leagues to replace Soriano on the roster. Dickerson is starting in right field tonight against the Rays.