NEW YORK -- Mike Tauchman made his name as one of the most productive members in the Yankees' "next man up" brigade, helping keep their winning season afloat despite a Major League-record 29 players on the injured list. Now it will be someone else's turn to carry the load.
Tauchman was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his left calf that will keep him out of action for approximately six to eight weeks, the Yankees announced on Monday. Manager Aaron Boone said that the diagnosis effectively rules the 28-year-old out for the rest of the season.
"I hurt for him," Boone said. "He's been such an important player for us. I know he's a big part of us moving forward, even though obviously it's not going to be on the playing field for a while. Right now, I'm just bummed for him, but we've got to keep moving."
Tauchman had been receiving treatment to alleviate soreness in his left calf prior to Sunday's 10-5 win over the Red Sox, though he believed the situation was manageable. Tauchman sustained the strain while fielding Brock Holt's fourth-inning single to left field, then exited the game.
"I planted coming in on that ball and I felt it grab up on me," Tauchman said on Sunday. "It felt a little bit like I got kicked, which would be weird because I was the only person in left field."
The Yankees believe they have reinforcements on the way. Giancarlo Stanton continues to log simulated at-bats at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., and Boone said that Stanton could be ready to play in big league games for the final homestand of the season.
"He's continuing to do well and things are moving as we'd hope," Boone said. "Hopefully he'll be back in the mix with us sometime in the next week."
Though Cameron Maybin has been dealing with a left wrist issue that could require surgery after the season (Maybin said the injury is to his TFCC ligament), Maybin believes that he can contribute.
"I had a stretch where it got a little tough and it was changing my swing," Maybin said. "I didn't want to put the team in a situation where I'm out there and I can't really help the way I'm capable of helping. We just thought it was smart to take some time off and get it right, especially going into this stretch of the end of the season and going into the playoffs."
Boone added that Clint Frazier, Breyvic Valera and Tyler Wade could see increased playing time as a result of Tauchman's injury.
"Especially with our roster now and how we're built up, in the short term, we're very much covered between Maybin, between Tyler Wade being able to go out there," Boone said. "Breyvic Valera can go out there and play. When Giancarlo is ready, he'll be here. We believe that's getting close, but we won't speed that up as a result of this."
Stanton continued to log positive results as he works out at the Yankees' complex in Florida according to Boone, who said that the slugger hit and performed full defensive drills. Stanton's next step is to complete a full baserunning workout, including sliding.
Though Double-A Trenton remains active, Boone indicated that it is unlikely that Stanton will play in Minor League games before being activated to the big league roster.
"The good thing is, being down in Tampa he's able to face pitchers and able to rack up a lot of at-bats while he's getting all the way back to physically being able to play games," Boone said.
A piece of Fenway
CC Sabathia was honored by the Red Sox prior to Sunday's game, when pitcher David Price presented the left-hander with a "52" plate from the left-field scoreboard at Fenway Park. Sabathia said that he was excited by the gesture and even more by the crowd reaction, hearing applause from fans on both sides.
"That was awesome, especially here at Fenway," Sabathia said. "Price is like a little brother to me. To have him out there to give me that piece of Fenway was pretty cool. It's pretty fun to pitch in this rivalry. I've got some bad memories here, some good ones here. [The year 2007] comes to mind a lot, thinking about the Indians."
Sabathia tossed in the bullpen prior to Monday's game and said that his ailing right knee should be ready to go on Wednesday, when he is scheduled to come off the injured list and start the middle game of the series against the Tigers in Detroit.
"I didn't think I would get this far, not with this knee," Sabathia said. "I think we knew coming into this season, it was going to be a battle. To still be able to make starts is all I wanted."
Aaron Hicks (right flexor strain) is in California seeking a second opinion regarding his elbow, which he injured on Aug. 3. Because Hicks has been unable to resume throwing, it is possible that his season could be over.
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 9, 1999: Jim "Catfish" Hunter passed away at the age of 53. The Hall of Famer pitched five seasons with the Yankees from 1975-79, going 63-53 with a 3.58 ERA while winning two World Series championships (1977, '78).