NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran was unable to dodge a stint on the disabled list with a bone spur in his right elbow, but the Yankees outfielder is still hopeful that he will be able to avoid surgery.

Beltran started feeling discomfort in his elbow while swinging in the batting cage Monday, forcing the 37-year-old to take himself out of the Yankees' lineup after three at-bats against the Mets.

A cortisone injection has helped some, he said, but not to the point where he is able to resume swinging.

"I'm getting better, but not to the point where I can swing the bat 100 percent," Beltran said.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not believe Beltran would have been ready to play this weekend against the Pirates, so the team decided to make the DL move.

"We felt with him not being a player probably this weekend for sure, we needed a roster spot," Girardi said. "There's obviously some things he's going to have to go through once he says he feels better."

The Yankees are hoping that rest and anti-inflammatories will remedy the situation, but Beltran said that if his situation does not improve in two weeks, surgery would be on the table. Surgery to shave the spur would keep Beltran out for approximately six to eight weeks.

"They say it could be less, could be more, it depends on how serious it is when they go in there and find whatever they find," Beltran said. "I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm thinking about hopefully these 15 days giving me the time to feel better."

In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees purchased the contract of right-hander Chase Whitley; Whitley started on Thursday against the Mets, making his big league debut.

To create room on the 40-man roster for Whitley, the Yankees reinstated right-hander Bruce Billings from the disabled list and then designated him for assignment.