The oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki made it to the sixth game of the season for the Yankees before getting hurt again.
The 34-year-old shortstop, who was signed to fill in until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery, left after three innings Wednesday with a Grade 1 strain of his left calf. Gleyber Torres moved from second base to short and Tyler Wade came in to play second. The Yankees lost, 2-1, to the Tigers at the Stadium and fell to 2-4.
Aaron Boone said Tulowitzki would “almost certainly” be going on the injured list with the low-level problem -- after missing last season with Toronto because of surgery on his heels. Tulowitzki, who went to New York Presbyterian for tests, would become the 11th man on the Yankees’ injured list. This would be his 11th time on the DL/IL.
“It’s gut-wrenching to hear that just because he’s gone through a lot in the last couple of years,” Wade told Newsday. “He’s basically worked his butt off to try to get back. But we’ve got the depth.”
It wasn’t clear how this injury happened. Tulowitzki fielded a bouncer to end the top of the second, then popped out to end the bottom half. At one point, he told Wade in the dugout to “get loose,” but Wade wasn’t sure when.
Tulowitzki was playing in his fifth game. The five-time All-Star was off to a .182 start, going 2-for-11, including a solo homer. Toronto released him in December with $38 million left on his contract. So he’s costing the Yankees only the major-league minimum of $555,000.
But now the left side of the infield from Opening Day is down. Third baseman Miguel Andujar suffered a small labrum tear in his right shoulder Sunday against Baltimore. The team said it planned to wait a couple of weeks to see if conservative treatment would help before considering possible season-ending surgery.
DJ LeMahieu is the main replacement at third. The only infielder at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre who is on the 40-man roster is Thairo Estrada, who will be recalled Thursday, a source said. He missed most of last season after being shot in the leg in Venezuela. But Torres is ready to man short and Wade is ready for second if that’s the plan.
Torres got 104 starts at second and 15 at short last season. “I feel really comfortable in both positions,” he said.
Wade, an infielder and outfielder, was upset when he was sent down despite a strong spring training. He could have a chance to impress now.
“I was here for injuries,” said Wade, who was called up Monday after Andujar got hurt. “I’ve got to step up in big situations and help this team out when we’re down a couple of guys.”