NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Rafael Soriano will undergo a precautionary MRI on his sore pitching elbow after the reliever was not available to pitch in the eighth inning on Tuesday.
Soriano, the Yankees' designated eighth-inning hurler, said that he complained of discomfort and asked to see team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad before New York's 3-1 victory over the Royals.
The Yankees will send Soriano to be examined on Wednesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
"We're going to do the MRI," Soriano said. "I want to make sure everything's fine. I told them, maybe [in] one or two days, I'll be back."
In the first year of a three-year, $35 million contract, Soriano pitched twice in New York's series against the Rangers in Texas. He last appeared on Sunday, when he hurled a scoreless eighth inning.
But he said that his elbow has been feeling tender since pitching in back-to-back games against the Blue Jays on April 30 and May 1, and revealed that he had asked pitching coach Larry Rothschild for time off during the club's four-game series in Detroit.
"I think it might be normal, because I threw back-to-back the last two games at home [against Toronto]," Soriano said.
Soriano said that he was able to play long-toss on Tuesday and that the discomfort is different than what he felt in 2008, when he was limited to 14 relief appearances with the Braves, enduring three stints on the disabled list with elbow injuries.
That season ended on the operating table for Soriano, as Dr. James Andrews performed ulnar transportation surgery and removed a bone spur in late August.
"That kind of pain, it's different than what happened in '08," Soriano said.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.