The Yankees placed Masahiro Tanaka on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with inflammation in his right elbow, leaving them with just one healthy member of their Opening Day starting rotation, Hiroki Kuroda.
Ivan Nova is lost for the year, CC Sabathia could soon follow and Michael Pineda's return is at least a month away.
"Any time you lose a starting pitcher, they're hard to replace," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. "What [Tanaka's] done for us, the innings, the wins and the quality of starts, it's hard to replace."
As the Yankees attempt to keep pace in the American League East, they will have to rely on their replacements, including right-hander David Phelps, who will make the start in Thursday's series finale against the Indians.
Phelps enters with a record of 3-4 and a 4.01 ERA. He will be looking to build off the momentum of his last start, when he allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings against the Twins.
The Indians have dropped two of the first three games of this series and will count on lefty T.J. House to earn a split. House allowed three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings and picked up his first Major League victory in his last start.
He was promoted for his third stint with the Indians this year during the team's last road trip to start when Justin Masterson's spot in the rotation was pushed back. Three of his seven turns this season have been quality starts.
"He's come a long way in a year," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You never know how guys adapt to the league and what the finished product is. Nobody knows. But that's the fun part. He's certainly showed he could compete and get Major League hitters out."
Yankees: Beltran sustains facial fractures in BP mishap
Outfielder Carlos Beltran sustained two small facial fractures in a batting-practice mishap on Wednesday afternoon, but the club is hopeful that the veteran switch-hitter will avoid a trip to the disabled list.
Beltran was scratched from the starting lineup for New York's 5-4, 14-inning victory over the Indians after a batted ball ricocheted off a protective "L screen" in an indoor batting cage, striking him in the face.
"You don't expect that to happen when you're practicing," Beltran said. "I had a headache for the whole day. Now it's getting better. Hopefully tomorrow it will get better and I could be back soon."
Beltran had some bruising on the bridge of his nose, but relatively little swelling. He said that the Yankees want to make sure he feels fine on Thursday, and added that there is some concern about a possible concussion.
"I don't know what the team's going to do," Beltran said. "With the concussion things, teams take that serious. Honestly, I don't feel like I have that. But at the end of the day, it's not my decision."
Indians: McAllister to start Saturday
The Indians will promote Zach McAllister from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday in place of the injured Masterson (right knee inflammation).
McAllister struggled in his first stint with Cleveland this season, posting a 5.89 ERA in 47 1/3 innings. Since being optioned to Columbus, he is 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA, with 34 strikeouts and seven walks.
"I think for the most part [reports on McAllister] have been all positive," Francona said. "I don't necessarily think it's been the easiest thing for Zach. He wants to be here. But I think he's done a really good job of not letting that affect his pitching. When that's what you ask a guy to do, sometimes it's harder to do than just saying it."
• Before being held homer-less on Wednesday, the Indians had hit at least one home run in seven straight games (10 homers total), which matched a season-high. Cleveland is 34-22 this year when hitting at least one home run.
• Pineda is still just playing catch in Tampa, Fla., and is not expected to be big league ready until mid-August at the earliest. Girardi said that Pineda is scheduled to throw a bullpen near the end of this week.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.