Decision on surgery looms for Voit, Yankees

August 6th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Decision time is looming for and the Yankees. Will the first baseman need to undergo surgery for what was diagnosed as a sports hernia, or will he be able to get back to full health without going under the knife?

Yankees manager Aaron Boone does not have an exact date pinpointed for when that decision will be made, but he forecasted it could come in the next week or so. Until then, he was encouraged by Voit taking part in some core exercises recently and having mainly positive reactions to it.

“I haven’t had a conversation with him since we left Sunday night. I know Sunday he was very encouraged about how he’s feeling, but still, this week is a lot of doing core exercises,” Boone said before Tuesday’s game against the Orioles. “When that decision comes, hopefully, maybe, over the next week or so. But no, I don’t have anything to report on it.”

Sooner or later, Boone admitted, he and the training staff are going to need to see how Voit reacts to baseball activities, and not just the off-field core exercises. How he responds to that form of exercise will most likely give a better indicator for the final decision on surgery.

“It’ll get to a point where he’s doing baseball activities, sure,” Boone said. He did not have an exact timeline for that.

Voit has been sidelined since exiting a July 30 game with what was diagnosed as a sports hernia. It came only after a late June stint on the injured list with a lower abdominal strain following the London Series. The Yankees believe the two are related.

In the interim, Edwin Encarnacion took the lion’s share of reps at first base. But now he, too, is on the shelf with a right wrist fracture. DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford -- who hit the go-ahead homer in Monday’s victory over Baltimore -- have taken over since.

Urshela workout halted by rain

Gio Urshela, who has been dealing with soreness since fouling a ball off each leg Sunday night, was slated to take batting practice with the team prior to Tuesday’s game and to do some on-field running.

“If this rain holds off,” Boone said.

Unfortunately for Urshela, that did not pan out.

Just as the Yankees were set to begin their pre-game on-field workouts, a quickly-moving storm -- with flashes of lightning and claps of thunder -- canceled batting practice for the away team, meaning the infielder couldn’t get in the outdoor workout he had hoped for.

Still, Boone had good news to report.

“He feels a little bit better today,” Boone said of Urshela, who ditched the bandage on his left shin but still featured a long sleeve on his right leg.

Yanks reveal Players’ Weekend nicknames

Some chose throwbacks to their childhood, others simplified their names and a few chose spelling clarifications for their Players’ Weekend nicknames, which will be on display Aug. 23-25 against the Dodgers.

But for reliever Adam Ottavino, it was a connection to home, both his literal home and his work home.

Berkeley Carroll high school product Ottavino elected to don “Brooklyn” on the back of his all-black jersey, a decision that came after long conversations with his wife, Brette, and the desire to shake it up from using his initials last year, “AO.”

“I felt like the fans might appreciate that, leaning into where I’m from,” Ottavino said. “I thought about it for a while, talked about it with my wife and stuff. And that’s the conclusion we came to.”

On playing in New York as a member of the home team for the first time, Ottavino said it has lived up to his expectations: “It’s been good. It’s comfortable, and definitely something I dreamed of playing in this uniform. That’s the best thing about it.”

Ottavino is not the only Yankee to pay respect to his hometown. Gleyber Torres will have “De Caracas” on his back to pay homage to his home, the capital of Venezuela.

“It’s my country and I always try to portray it,” Torres said in Spanish. “And the opportunity came to put where I am from, and I thought it was perfect.”