DUNEDIN, Fla. — Aaron Hicks, who asked out of the Yankees’ lineup Monday — "hurting in a huge way" in response to the police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man named Daunte Wright after a traffic stop Sunday night in Minneapolis — returned to the lineup Tuesday night against the Blue Jays.
Hicks, who took BP with his teammates before Monday’s game, started in center and batted fifth Tuesday night.
"I just felt like it wasn’t right for me to play that game [Monday]," Hicks said after going 3-for-4 with a double. "It was tough to read that somebody just got murdered. He’s a father to his son and he’s also a son to his mother, so it’s extremely tough when situations like that happen."
Hicks, off to a tough start at the plate (4-for-31), had the support of his teammates.
"I can’t walk in Aaron’s shoes, but as a teammate, my job is to support him and make sure he’s doing all right," Gerrit Cole said after striking out eight in Monday’s victory. "So if that’s an arm around him or a pat on the butt, whatever he needs to go through emotionally, he needs to go through, so we’ll be here for him."
The support meant a lot to Hicks.
"It was incredible," Hicks said. "Just them saying they’ve got my back. Even if they don’t understand what it’s like and what Black Americans in this country have to deal with sometimes, it’s just nice to hear, ‘Hey, it’s all good. We’ll take care of this game for you.’ It’s nice to have that."
Short side for Gio
Gio Urshela made his first start as a Yankee at short, the result of a regularly scheduled day off for Gleyber Torres, Aaron Boone said.
But the manager did say Torres "jammed" the ring finger on his right hand diving back into the bag Monday night after leading off the second inning with a walk.
"He was pretty sore last night," Boone said. "We had him get X-rays and a CT scan [Tuesday] just to rule everything out. It came back clean. He’s still a little bit sore today. I would say he’s probably available to us today, certainly in an emergency. The hope would be that he’s back in the lineup tomorrow."
As for Urshela, who has played sparingly at short in his career, Boone said he had zero concerns about an adjustment.
"I have a lot of confidence in Gio when he has a glove on his hand and he’s standing on the infield," Boone said. "I expect him to go out there and play the way he’s capable of and handle the routine play and then hopefully go out and contribute to a victory for us."