Outfielder Aaron Hicks on Sunday missed his second straight game after suffering a left shoulder injury Friday night diving for a fly ball, but he planned to accompany the Yankees on a nine-game road trip that begins Monday night in Texas. Manager Joe Girardi said the team is in no rush to place Hicks on the disabled list if there is a chance he might return by Friday in Boston.
Hicks had a cortisone shot Saturday and said his range of motion was better when he woke up Sunday, but he remains day to day. “I kind of feel it in the shoulder still,” he said. “I feel like my movement is getting better . . . [Returning] is all about how I feel.”
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Girardi hopes to avoid losing Hicks for 15 days. “We’re going to go a couple days and see where he’s at, see if the shot is helping, see if the rest is helping,” he said.
The Yankees’ injury situation was complicated Sunday when Alex Rodriguez suffered a “stiff left oblique.” Girardi hinted at a stint on the DL for Rodriguez, saying, “Playing two short would be really difficult.”
Although Hicks is off to a slow start with an .091 batting average, Girardi defended his plan to sometimes use him in place of regulars Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury against lefthanded pitching.
“He’s going to hit lefties,” Girardi said. “I really believe that. Everything we’ve seen from him has told us and everything in his DNA is that he can hit lefthanders, and he’s going to do damage.”
Gardner and Ellsbury also have shown they can hit lefties.
“I understand that,” Girardi said. “But you’re talking about a guy whose history is around a .900 OPS compared to .750. I’m not taking anything away from Gardy and [Ellsbury]. They are great players. But it’s a way to keep them strong and healthy. I’m trying to get his bat in the lineup because I think it’s potent.’’
The Yankees observed a moment of silence before the Rays to honor 18-year-old infield prospect Sandy Acevedo, who died in a car accident Saturday night in the Dominican Republic. The Yankees signed him last summer as an international free agent . . . Righthander Branden Pinder (right elbow strain) is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews this week before deciding on Tommy John surgery. Girardi said Pinder is “leaning toward” surgery.