Yankees' Josh Donaldson, Jonathan Loaisiga added to IL

BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees' injury woes continued Saturday with third baseman Josh Donaldson and reliever Jonathan Loaisiga landing on the injured list.

Donaldson, 37, was placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain, and Loaisiga went on the 15-day IL with right elbow inflammation. Both stints are retroactive to April 6.

Donaldson's move was expected since he was removed in the second inning of the Yankees' win over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Donaldson stayed back in New York to work with trainers, adding that he's "doing pretty well" but that the team will continue being conservative in handling his injury.

"Don't feel like it's too serious, but enough in there that it would probably knock him down for four or five days," Boone said Friday. "Looks like it's probably shorter than [the 10-day IL], but probably err on the side of caution in this month of April."

Boone said Loaisiga started feeling right elbow discomfort before Friday's 7-6 loss in Baltimore. He was then sent to New York for imaging, which revealed inflammation and no structural damage. Loaisiga will be unable to throw for a few weeks after receiving a shot to aid with the swelling, but Boone did not want to commit to a specific timeline for his return.

"I thought he was just going to be a little sore, a little tight, and then, as they examined him, it turned into a little more than that," Boone explained before Saturday night's 4-1 win over the Orioles. "Sent him back to New York this morning, he had an MRI, saw [Yankees team physician] Dr. [Christopher] Ahmad. The good news is that he's structurally sound; the ligament is fine. He's got some swelling in the joint, so he got an injection today, so it's probably up to a couple of weeks of no-throw."

Loaisiga has been limited by several injuries in his career, including a right shoulder strain that kept him on the shelf for more than three months during the 2019 season. He also missed two months of the season last year due to shoulder inflammation. Still expected to play an important role in the Yankees' bullpen alongside closer Clay Holmes, Loaisiga had a solid spring, throwing five scoreless innings in Grapefruit League play. He also pitched in two games for his native Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic, allowing three runs over two innings pitched.

Loaisiga became the third member of the bullpen to hit the injured list, joining Lou Trivino (elbow sprain) and Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendinitis).

"Hopefully, this isn't a long-term thing. We don't think it is, but it's still frustrating, especially because obviously how important he is to our team," Boone said of Loaisiga. "We've got a lot of good pitchers, and it's on everyone to kind of step up. And, hopefully, as we're waiting on him and Trivino and Kahnle to get back, it's opportunities for other people, where we see a guy or two or more step up into more prominent roles and be a more important piece for us."

Kahnle's injury in early March was expected to be a mild one, but his rehab has taken longer than initially expected. The right-hander, who signed to a two-year, $11.5 million free agent deal, was put on the 60-day IL as part of Saturday's injury report, which means he will no longer be eligible for an April return.

"It took him a while, kind of in the month of March, to get to that point to where he was throwing again, but really in the last 10 days or so he's really started to trend in a good way. It's just the no-throw for so long, so the build-up is going to be a little slower, and he's going to be around that time," Boone said in addressing Kahnle's return timeline. "So that 60-day, I think it ends up in late May. By the time he's probably pitching in rehab games, we're talking early, middle part of May. So hopefully we're in that position where he's ready to get back right before, it's going to be around that time."

Loaisiga's injury, as well as Kahnle's move to the 60-day IL, could open the door for right-handed reliever Greg Weissert to return to the majors. According to Boone, Weissert was another one of those tough decisions made as rosters were defined ahead of Opening Day, adding that Weissert would be "an important part" of the team this year.

The Yankees did not deem it necessary to bring up an infielder in Donaldson's absence, with the versatile DJ LeMahieu scheduled to get the bulk of the reps at third base, according to Boone. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Oswaldo Cabrera, both infielders-turned-outfielders, are also capable of playing third.

The team decided instead to call up spring-training invitee and former Texas Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun. As regular-season rosters were defined, Boone mentioned that sending Calhoun to the minors had been a very difficult decision for the team.

Calhoun said Saturday that he did not see being sent down to Triple-A as a demotion but "as an opportunity to grow even more."

"Whenever you get an opportunity to play for a historic franchise like this, it's something that doesn't happen too often," Calhoun said upon arriving in Baltimore. "I tried to keep that in the back of my head to make sure to go down there and do everything I can to make sure I get back here and help the team win."

Calhoun's call-up further complicates Aaron Hicks' role with the club. The embattled outfielder, who is owed $30 million over the next three years, has gotten limited playing time. His role might get even murkier when outfielder Harrison Bader (oblique) returns from injury.

Nonetheless, Hicks, who had expressed frustration in the past with his undefined role, said his only focus was "staying ready."

"Those aren't my decisions," Hicks said Saturday. "I may sound like a broken record, but just stay ready for opportunities for me to get in there and do my thing."

Boone said Bader is doing "really well," adding, "Hopefully in the next week or 10 days, he's ready to start getting in some games."

The Yankees have been affected by injuries early, mostly on the pitching front as the team opened the season with three-fifths of the projected starting rotation on the IL: Carlos Rodon (forearm strain), Luis Severino (low-grade right lat strain) and Frankie Montas (shoulder surgery).

Boone said Severino is inching closer to starting his throwing progression, with the right-hander expected to throw a bullpen Sunday. Rodon will likely throw live batting practice Monday. Rodon and Severino are expected to rejoin the rotation at some point in April or May, although there is no definitive timeline.

The Yankees also announced that rookie Jhony Brito, who made his major league debut Sunday before being sent back to the minors, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Brito is the scheduled starter for Saturday's game against the Orioles.