BOSTON — Anthony Rizzo hopes to be back with the Yankees perhaps as soon as this weekend when they’re in Milwaukee.
If not then, the first baseman said “definitely hopefully” in time for the series against the Pirates, which starts Tuesday night at the Stadium.
“There’s still boxes to check off,” Rizzo said Tuesday in the visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park before the Yankees started a two-game series against the Red Sox.
The biggest one, however, seems to have been checked.
That would be the severe side effects — which included migraine headaches — that resulted from an epidural shot Rizzo received in his back Sept. 1 for the lower-back tightness that's been plaguing him since June.
Last Friday, Rizzo received a blood patch, a treatment option for patients suffering side effects from a spinal injection, and the headaches almost immediately dissipated, which has allowed the 33-year-old to resume baseball activities after essentially being relegated to his bed for about a week.
“Feel good. Swung today a little bit so just progressing,” Rizzo said. “Hopefully (I’m ready for) next series or the Pittsburgh series … I was at Yankee Stadium this morning working there. Threw on the field today. Didn’t run outside but ran inside. Now it’s just progressing.”
He added later: “Hopefully this is behind me.”
Rizzo, hitting .225 this season but with 30 homers — second on the Yankees behind Aaron Judge’s 55 he brought into Tuesday night’s game — and an .832 OPS in 117 games.
“It was just weird because you didn’t know what was going on,” Rizzo said of what led up to him being put on the IL Sept. 6 with the headaches caused by the epidural injection. “Every time you stand up you get a massive headache. Just laying down for a week straight, basically on bed rest, was not fun.”
There was a “silver lining,” said Rizzo, who missed four games in early July with the lower-back tightness and five games in early August with the same problem.
“I got a week to let the medicine (from the epidural) really fully kick in and do its job,” Rizzo said. “I’ve never gotten an epidural so we’ll see in another few weeks. Any time I give my back time off (is a positive).”
The Martian hits Somerset
Jasson Dominguez is two steps from the big leagues. Dominguez, a centerfielder ranked among the top prospects in the sport, was promoted Tuesday to Double-A Somerset from High-A Hudson Valley (whose season came to an end last weekend).
Dominguez, who hit .306 with six homers, 22 RBIs and a .907 OPS in 40 games with Hudson Valley, started the season with Low-A Tampa. The switch-hitting Dominguez — aka “The Martian” — was signed by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 for $5.1 million.
Boone said Frankie Montas would start Friday night’s series opener against the Brewers, followed by Jameson Taillon on Saturday and Gerrit Cole, who started Tuesday night against Boston, on Sunday …Tyler Wade, who started the season with the Angels but was traded back to the Yankees organization — of which he was a part of through last season since getting drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft — in July, is on the trip as a member of the taxi squad.