That losing series against the lowly Orioles ended up being more costly than the Yankees could have imagined. They lost Miguel Andujar to a labrum tear — an injury that very well could cost him the season — and Giancarlo Stanton with a left biceps strain, all in the same day.
Andujar, who suffered the injury while diving back into third base during Sunday’s loss, played through the pain but needed treatment Monday. That led the Yankees to get him an MRI that showed what Aaron Boone described as a “small” tear. The plan is to treat it conservatively for a few weeks and see if it responds to rehab before considering surgery, Boone said.
“At that point [we’ll] make a decision which, surgery could be in play, which would obviously compromise his season,” Boone said of the 24-year-old third baseman. “There is some optimism that he would respond to the rehab protocol . . . His physical test with the doctor is actually really good, so there is some optimism that if treated conservatively, he can respond.”
DJ LeMahieu should get the bulk of the playing time at third with an assist from Tyler Wade, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday.
Stanton went on the 10-day injured list after what Boone called a “funky swing” Sunday.
That vaunted — and originally crowded — outfield will be looking a little thin in the next few weeks. Stanton will be shut down completely for 10 days and then reevaluated, Boone said, “and hopefully will [be] getting back at some point this month.”
Stanton believes he injured himself swinging at a 3-and-1 pitch in the sixth inning Sunday but originally was under the impression that it could be a cramp, or something else he could play through. After the adrenaline subsided, he said, it was clear that he had hurt himself more than he originally thought, and a subsequent MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain.
Stanton played through a balky hamstring last season, and when he told Boone that he likely would need a few days to recover from this injury, it was clear that it could be trouble, Boone said.
“That was kind of a red flag just because, knowing what he usually plays through,” Boone said. “When he knew that right away, a little bit of concern . . . It’s disappointing that he’s got to go on the [injured list] for a little bit. I feel like in a way it was pretty good news considering what it could have been.”
Because this injury affects his bat speed, the down time was pretty non-negotiable, Stanton said. Gary Sanchez suffered a similar injury at the beginning of the 2017 season and missed about a month.
“There’s different gauges of things,” Stanton said. “When you’re talking about quickness of your swing, you can’t really have too many things bringing that down. You can battle through certain things but not that type . . . I don’t like it at all. Just worked for six weeks to get here plus the offseason, so I much rather this would have popped in spring training, but it’s where we’re at.”
He joins Aaron Hicks (sore lower back), who hasn’t begun baseball activity, and Jacoby Ellsbury on the injured list. The Yankees called up Clint Frazier from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a corresponding move for Stanton, though Mike Tauchman got the start Monday night.
The Yankees have nine players on the injured list, not counting CC Sabathia, who is serving a suspension but isn’t expected to be healthy enough to pitch until mid-to-late April.
“We’re talking about really good players obviously that we’re missing,” Boone said before the news of Andujar’s injury. “But one of the things that we feel is that we are equipped to handle this . . . I feel like we have a club capable of weathering that storm and go out there with the expectation that we’re going to win a lot of games, even though we’re playing a little bit short right now.”