Though a decision wasn’t made immediately, Aaron Hicks could be bound for the disabled list.
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The outfielder, acquired in the offseason because of his ability to play all three outfield spots and hit lefthanders, jammed his left shoulder while diving for a hit Friday night.
He woke up sore Saturday morning and was sent for an MRI in the afternoon, which showed what Joe Girardi called “traumatic bursitis,” essentially significant inflammation.
“He received a shot today,” Girardi said after the Yankees’ 3-2 victory over the Rays. “He won’t do anything for four or five days, so obviously I’m sure there will be a discussion.”
The discussion will be with general manager Brian Cashman about a possible roster move. After Sunday’s game, the Yankees start a three-game series in Arlington against the Rangers on Monday night, and it doesn’t seem likely that they would play that series shorthanded.
Lefthanded-hitting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leftfielder Ben Gamel is a possibility, but the Yankees might prefer a righthanded hitter, given the number of lefthanded starters they will be facing. Prospect Aaron Judge bats righthanded but is a rightfielder. Recently signed Nick Swisher is a switch hitter, but he has questionable knees, has been playing exclusively at first base and DH, and likely isn’t an option.
Hicks hopes a DL stint will not be necessary. “Hopefully it gets better soon,” he said.
He did what?
It was exciting and certainly a game-changer, but Jacoby Ellsbury’s straight steal of home Friday night didn’t exactly play to rave reviews.
“It’s a risky play 3-and-2,” Girardi said before Saturday’s game. “We tried to get his attention earlier [in the count] because we thought he could do it. It’s not something you particularly want to do with two strikes.”
With Matt Moore on the mound, two outs and a full count on Brett Gardner, the lefthander went into a full windup and Ellsbury took off for the plate. The pitch was high and he slid in ahead of the tag as a stunned Gardner took ball four, tying the score at 3.
“It’s a risky play, and when it works, you feel fortunate,” Girardi said. “With a righthanded hitter, you can’t do it just because the hitter doesn’t see you running. The preference is you don’t want a guy to do it with two strikes and two outs. With two outs, you really have to protect.”
Shrinking supply of arms
Branden Pinder, placed on the disabled list Friday with a right elbow strain, has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, Girardi said Saturday.
“He needs to make a decision,” he said. “He has a partial tear. He needs to make a decision what course of action he wants to take, whether to rehab it or if he wants to get it taken care of [with surgery].’’
The Yankees lost Nick Rumbelow to Tommy John surgery earlier in the season. Both he and Pinder saw time in the big leagues last season. “It definitely affects you because it’s two less choices you could possibly bring up,” Girardi said of losing Pinder and Rumbelow. “That always opens the door for somebody else, but it’s frustrating because it’s two guys we felt could help us during the course of the year.”
In addition, Bryan Mitchell (fractured left toe) was lost just before the season for at least three months.