The Yankees were without two of their lineup regulars in the series opener vs. the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday evening, a 5-4 win. Aaron Hicks has been diagnosed with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that could require surgery, and Giancarlo Stanton was scratched about an hour before first pitch due to tightness in his left quadriceps.
Of the injuries, Stanton’s appears to be less concerning. Manager Aaron Boone said that Stanton felt the issue in one of his at-bats on Thursday and mentioned it during his pregame workouts on Friday. He added that Stanton could return to the lineup in a day or two.
“He felt like it was probably something he should get out ahead of,” Boone said. “I don’t want to put a timetable on it other than to say it’s day to day, and we’ll see how he is [Saturday] and Sunday. He could be down a couple of days, but I’m hoping it’s not more than that.”
Hicks underwent an MRI on the wrist on Wednesday and did not appear in Thursday’s 9-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Yankees will attempt to treat the injury with anti-inflammatory medication for now, hoping that Hicks could return to the lineup at some point this weekend.
“I think it could go either way, really,” Boone said. “In these cases it seems like a lot of times, the medicine works and knocks it out. If not, then surgery could be on the table.”
In March 2013, then-Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira sustained a similar injury while hitting off a tee. He was limited to 15 games that season, struggling to drive the ball before he opted for season-ending surgery in June. Teixeira, like Hicks, was a switch-hitter.
Boone said that his understanding is that there was not one specific play or swing that caused Hicks' injury.
“It actually could have been something that was a couple of years ago,” he said. “Every now and then, he has a little bit of a sore wrist, so there’s no real [knowledge] when it happened.”
Hicks, 31, opened the season as the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter but has batted lower in the order since mid-April. In 32 games this year, he has batted .194/.294/.333 (81 OPS+) with three doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs.
The injury increases the importance of Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner in the outfield alignment; both have struggled this year.
“Hopefully both of those guys get rolling a little bit for us,” Boone said.
The Yankees had a second consecutive day of negative COVID-19 tests from the current members of their traveling party, Boone said. The eight individuals who tested positive, including shortstop Gleyber Torres and three coaches, remain quarantined in the Tampa, Fla., area.
“I don’t want to say we're in the clear ever again, but it's a good sign that we've had a couple of days of negatives,” Boone said. “The results we got back from the PCRs that we took yesterday afternoon that we got overnight and this morning, all came back negative as well, so that's a good sign.”
Boone said that one of the individuals who tested positive has already registered one negative test. Team members are required to have two consecutive negative tests before being cleared to rejoin the team. Seven of the eight cases were asymptomatic.
“Every day that we all get good news and everybody's negative, I think that's one more day that we can be optimistic that we're kind of past that,” Gardner said. “It’s just a reminder that we all need to continue to be careful and be respectful of others. We'll probably be dealing with this for a while.”
Down on the farm
Outfielder Estevan Florial has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which could be a significant move considering Hicks’ injury. Florial is the Yankees’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
“We've always loved the person and the tools,” Boone said. “Hopefully with him now being healthy and getting regular at-bats and reps, he can continue to develop into the guy we think he can be.”
• Though infielder Rougned Odor (left knee sprain) is eligible to be activated from the injured list on Saturday, Boone said that will not happen. Odor is aiming to increase his baseball activities this weekend.
• Left-hander Zack Britton (recovery from left elbow surgery) will face hitters in a simulated game on Saturday. Boone anticipates that Britton will be activated when eligible to come off the 60-day injured list later this month, with about five Minor League outings scheduled.
• Right-hander Clarke Schmidt (recovery from right elbow strain) has been long-tossing at distances up to 90 feet, but has not thrown from a mound. Schmidt is the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
This date in Yankees history
May 14, 1996: Dwight Gooden threw the eighth no-hitter in franchise history, defeating the Mariners in a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. Gooden threw 134 pitches in the contest, walking six and striking out five.