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Hicks targets Red Sox series for return from DL

Yankees acquire utility man Asche from Royals, assign him to Triple-A
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Aaron Hicks is confident that he will be able to return from the 10-day disabled list in time for the Yankees' upcoming series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park that begins on Tuesday.

Hicks, who is sidelined with a strained right intercostal muscle, is scheduled to hit off a tee and soft-toss Wednesday. He indicated that no Minor League rehabilitation games should be necessary before stepping back into the lineup.

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NEW YORK -- Aaron Hicks is confident that he will be able to return from the 10-day disabled list in time for the Yankees' upcoming series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park that begins on Tuesday.

Hicks, who is sidelined with a strained right intercostal muscle, is scheduled to hit off a tee and soft-toss Wednesday. He indicated that no Minor League rehabilitation games should be necessary before stepping back into the lineup.

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"I feel really good. I feel perfect with going right into games," Hicks said. "I just need a couple of days before the 10th day to start doing some machine work. I feel like that will get me ready to go."

The Yankees are short on outfield depth, with Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier all on the disabled list. Manager Aaron Boone has indicated that Hicks will return sooner than Ellsbury, who is eligible to be activated on Thursday but is sidelined with a sore left hip.

Power of the 'pen
With initial returns on the starting pitching having been better than expected, Boone is not concerned about early blips from his relievers, who coughed up 12 runs in 11 innings over three games leading into Wednesday's matinee.

Chad Green has been excellent, but Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson have all experienced stumbles in the early going.

"I think they're really good, and I think they're all physically fine, so I'm not worried about it over the long haul," Boone said. "I'm confident that it will in the end be an overwhelming strength of this club, as long as we can stay healthy with those guys.

"Especially in the early going, we'll do our best to try and protect them as much as we can, not overuse guys as much as we can. I think over time those guys are going to absolutely deliver."

Trade made
The Yankees acquired infielder/outfielder Cody Asche from the Royals on Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. Asche was assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Asche, 27, played in 19 games last season for the White Sox, batting .105 (6-for-57) with a double, a home run and four RBIs while playing first base, third base and left field. Over parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Phillies (2013-16) and White Sox, Asche has compiled a slash line of .234/.293/.376 in 390 games.

Video: KC@CWS: Asche hits a three-run home run in the 3rd

On Tuesday, the Yankees claimed outfielder Trayce Thompson off waivers from the Dodgers. Thompson is reporting to Triple-A.

"It doesn't mean he won't become an option very soon," Boone said. "We'll have conversations after today about if there is anything we want to do roster-wise through the next four days."

Home sweet home
Boone said that he had no disappointment about Tuesday's traditional Opening Day baseline introductions being scrapped due to inclement weather.

"It was good being in Yankee Stadium, even on a crappy night weather-wise," Boone said. "To feel the energy in the building was pretty cool. I didn't need to be out there on the field in that weather last night. I was good there in the dugout. I wasn't sure we'd get that [game] in.

"And even as we got closer to 4 o'clock, I was wondering if it was going to be a reality. The fact that we were able to get that in and get a victory against their ace ... it was a satisfying day."

He said it
"My last name is Boone. I never get booed. ... Actually, somehow you know the difference." -- Boone, when asked how he recalls being received by Yankees fans after his 2003 trade to New York

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks