ANAHEIM, Calif. — Though Anthony Rizzo has consistently said he’s “fine” since coming back from a five-game hiatus in early August caused by lower-back stiffness, Aaron Boone said that clearly isn’t the case.
And so Rizzo, who has homered in back-to-back games, was given a day off his feet Wednesday night and could have, Boone said, some “extended” time off the field. However, the manager added he didn’t believe an IL stint would be necessary.
“He’s dealing with the back stuff still,” Boone said before Wednesday night’s series finale against the Angels. “Obviously, he’s got good results the last couple of days, but it’s definitely been something that’s weighing him down a little bit. I feel like I have to give him a day here. But it’s weighing him down.”
Rizzo came into Wednesday hitting .225 but with 30 homers — second-most on the club behind Aaron Judge’s 51 — and an .832 OPS in 116 games. In 18 games since returning to the lineup Aug. 10, Rizzo is 14-for-66 (.212) with three homers and a .691 OPS.
“He’ll be available off the bench, but it’s something that’s just kind of wearing him down,” Boone said. “He just can’t move like he’d like to. He’s dealing with some pain in there. He’s not able to do the level of exercises that he usually does to be able to prepare himself to play every day. So we’ll see.”
Boone said Jameson Taillon, forced from Tuesday night’s game after taking a line drive off his right wrist area — causing a forearm contusion — on the final out of the second inning, is slated to play catch Thursday, an off-day before the Yankees start a three-game series Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida, against the Rays.
“There’s still a little bit of swelling in there, but he was encouraged,” Boone said. “He felt like it feels better than he expected. We’ll see how the next couple days go and hopefully he’ll be in position to make his next start. But we’ll know more in the next day and a half.”
Duffey comes aboard
The Yankees added another reliever to the organization, signing righthander Tyler Duffey to a minor-league deal. Duffey, who recently opted out of a minor-league deal with the Rangers, will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Duffey spent eight seasons with the Twins, posting a 4.57 ERA in 295 games. He had a 4.91 ERA in 40 games this season before getting released.
Sevy set for rehab start
Boone said Luis Severino, on the 60-day IL with a right lat strain, is slated to make his first rehab start Friday night for Class-A Tampa.