CHICAGO – Make it an even 20.
With Kendrys Morales being placed on the injured list Thursday afternoon with a left calf strain, that made it 20 players to hit the IL for the Yankees this season.
That matches the total number for last season.
The Yankees placed 19 players on the IL (then called the disabled list) in 2015, and the total was 18 in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The Yankees recalled righthander Nestor Cortes Jr. Thursday and also brought back outfielder Mike Tauchman, who started in rightfield Thursday night and batted ninth. Clint Frazier, plagued all season by issues in the field, was the DH.
Aaron Boone said he doesn’t anticipate Morales needing more than the minimum 10 days on the IL “I think it will be short,” the manager said — but looking at what the roster might look like when his stint is up, it’s difficult finding a spot for the 35-year-old switch hitter.
Giancarlo Stanton, slated to start a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, is in line to return as soon as Tuesday. Boone has said Stanton will get some time in the field but see most of his action at DH. Aaron Judge, who also could be with Scranton this weekend on a rehab assignment, looks as if he could be back within the next two weeks.
Morales has never gotten it going since the Yankees dealt for him May 14, hitting .194 with two homers and a .566 OPS in 19 games.
DJ LeMahieu entered Thursday leading the majors with a .474 average (27-for-57) with runners in scoring position, including 5 for his last 8 and 10 for his last 20 since May 25...Pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been away from the team since Tuesday because of a personal matter.