NEW YORK -- The Yankees are bracing for the possibility that right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will not pitch for the rest of the season, and the club is planning to stretch right-hander Adam Warren out to rejoin the rotation.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday that it is unlikely that Eovaldi will pitch again during the regular season, though there is hope that he could contribute during the playoffs. Eovaldi has been shut down for a minimum of two weeks with right elbow inflammation.
"The most important thing right now is having him be healthy," Cashman said. "He's no good to us not healthy. He has been a nice asset for us. We've just got to give it a timeout now and make sure that we put him in a position to be that asset again. Hopefully it will be this year."
Eovaldi has been a consistent force all season, going 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA, but he hasn't looked the same in his past two outings. Eovaldi was evaluated on Monday by head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and underwent an MRI at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which revealed the inflammation.
Cashman said that Eovaldi received a platelet-rich plasma injection in hopes of speeding his healing, but he will still have to take a full two weeks off without throwing and then resume a throwing program to rebuild his arm strength.
"I would think it would probably be difficult to see him pitch before the season's over," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Maybe he could get in a game, but we don't have a lot of time."
Eovaldi said that he first started experiencing soreness after his most recent outing, in which he lost to the Rays on Saturday. He said that there appears to be no problem with his elbow ligament, which was repaired by Tommy John surgery in high school.
Because he may not be built up in terms of stamina to make a postseason start, Eovaldi said that he would be willing to pitch out of the bullpen if needed.
"Absolutely, to be able to help the team out any way I can," Eovaldi said. "I could start, but I don't know how long I would be able to go. Playing it safe again, it's just hard to tell. I'll help the team out in any way I can."
Warren began the season as the Yanks' fifth starter and was 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 14 starts before being shuttled to a relief role. Having posted a 2.43 ERA in 24 relief appearances, Warren said he was surprised by Tuesday's developments.
"They always told me when I was sent to the bullpen that it might not be permanent, but at this point in the season, I thought I was in the bullpen for good this year," Warren said. "I've always wanted to be a starter."
Left-hander CC Sabathia is scheduled to rejoin the rotation on Wednesday, and Girardi said the team has not set its pitching past Thursday.
It is possible that Warren could start as soon as this weekend against the Blue Jays, where he would throw 40 to 50 pitches before leaning on the expanded September bullpen. Right-hander Bryan Mitchell is also in the mix to make a spot start.
"Obviously this hit us in September, so we have a lot more pitching available to us which will assist," Cashman said. "It's a tough loss. Eovaldi has been good for us."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.