TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees received an encouraging update regarding left-hander Justin Wilson on Wednesday, with manager Aaron Boone saying that an MRI exam showed “nothing actionable” regarding tightness in the reliever’s pitching shoulder, though his availability for Opening Day is yet unknown.
Wilson gestured toward the bench after his final pitch in Monday’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Phillies, and he was sent for testing on Tuesday. Wilson was given oral anti-inflammatory medication, and he will continue to receive treatment over the next several days before resuming a throwing program.
“I feel like overall we have pretty good news on the MRI front, but he is dealing with some soreness,” Boone said. “We'll see where we are as the next couple of days unfold and then see where that leaves us.”
Wilson faced four batters and retired none in Monday's appearance, permitting a Rhys Hoskins single and a long two-run homer to Didi Gregorius. Wilson issued a walk to Alex Bohm and, facing Odúbel Herrera, signaled to the dugout that something was wrong after tossing his 20th pitch of the inning.
Boone and athletic trainer Steve Donohue attended to the 33-year-old Wilson, who has pitched to a 23.14 ERA in four appearances this spring.
“The way he described it was that he was having a hard time getting loose out there,” Boone said.
Wilson signed a $2.85 million deal with the Yankees in February that includes a $2.3 million player option or a $7.15 million club option for the 2022 season, with a $1.15 million buyout.
The Yankees lost left-hander Zack Britton to injury earlier this spring. The veteran underwent surgery to remove a bone chip and loose bodies from his pitching elbow, and he is expected to miss the first half of the season.
In Britton’s absence, Boone has said that he anticipates Wilson, Chad Green and Darren O’Day filling important roles to set up for closer Aroldis Chapman.
If Wilson’s injury delays his availability for the regular season, it could elevate contenders like Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Tyler Lyons and Nick Nelson into more significant roles.
“I’ve talked a lot about how impressed I’ve been with our depth,” Boone said. “I feel like there’s a number of guys that we could turn to if we got in a situation.”