Soto hopeful to play vs. LA this weekend

June 8th, 2024

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have received what manager Aaron Boone described as “good news” regarding , as an MRI of the outfielder’s ailing left forearm taken on Friday afternoon revealed inflammation but no structural damage.

Soto also had imaging performed on his left elbow, the results of which were clean, according to Boone. Though Soto held a bat in his hands near the top step of the dugout several times during Friday’s 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Dodgers, Boone said that Soto was not considered available to play. That could potentially change at some point this weekend.

“It’s always tough to watch the game from the bench,” Soto said. “I want to be out there, trying to win a game with my teammates. I tried to enjoy the moment, but this is what it is. We have to take what we have right now and keep moving forward.”

With Soto out of the lineup, left fielder Alex Verdugo assumed the No. 2 spot in the batting order, with Aaron Judge moving from center field to right field. Trent Grisham started in center field.

Soto exited Thursday’s 8-5 victory over the Twins following a 56-minute rain delay, during which he was examined by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Speaking after Friday’s game, Soto said that he was relieved to have a diagnosis and a set course of treatment. He has been dealing with soreness in his left forearm for approximately one to two weeks, and could not point to a specific event that caused the issue.

“It’s what I was looking for,” Soto said. “I just tried to see what was really going on in my elbow. We were having a little bit of thinking [about] what it’s going to be like and how it’s going to come out. And thank God it came out that way.”

Boone said that Soto did not have any injections on Friday, and that anti-inflammatories have been prescribed. Soto, who said on Thursday that he has been “grinding” through the discomfort, said that he believes that will quell the issue.

“I don’t think I have to be grinding through the whole year, if we do the right thing and we do it the right way,” Soto said. “Now that we know what it is, we can treat it and do the right things to get it going. I think I will be fine.”

Soto is hitting an American League-leading .318 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 64 games. His .424 on-base percentage is the best in the Majors.

“He’s a pretty cool customer, as you’ve seen,” Boone said. “For him, in his mind, he wanted to know what was going on there, because that soreness was just lingering with him each and every day. I don’t want to speak for him, but I’m sure it gave him some peace of mind.”