The light at the end of the Yankees' long injury-tunnel is starting to get a bit brighter as Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances all reported good news regarding their respective injuries ahead of the Yankees’ doubleheader against the Orioles at the Stadium on Monday.
“For us, the biggest thing is trying to get back,” Betances said before Game One. “It’s been fun to watch [the team], but at the same time I kind of want to be on the field with them, battling with them.”
Voit, who has been on the Injured List since July 31 with a sports hernia, sprinted for the first time and said he feels “100 percent.” The movement is a, literal, step in the right direction for Voit, who added that he won’t need in-season surgery and will start hitting off a tee Tuesday.
“I honestly feel pretty much back to normal,” said Voit, who was hitting .278 with 19 home runs and 54 RBI before his injury. “I’ve got to get back in baseball shape, but hopefully that’s soon.”
This was Voit’s second stint on the IL after he suffered a lower abdominal strain during the Yankees’ series against the Red Sox in London. He admitted that he may have tried to return too quickly after that injury, saying he “wanted to get back after the All-Star break.”
“I set a timetable for myself to come back and I don’t think I was ready all the way,” Voit said. “I kind of blame myself for that just because I wanted to get back.”
Manager Aaron Boone echoed the need for a steady pace ahead of Voit’s return: “[It’s] just the progression of getting built back up. Tee and toss into batting practice, then probably go play a couple games and if everything goes well, hopefully we’ll get him back and he’ll be a big factor for us.”
Hicks, sidelined with a right flexor strain he sustained Aug. 3, said he was slated to be reevaluated Monday and hopes to start throwing within the week if all goes week.
Pitchers Luis Severino and Dellin Betances, who have been on the Injured List all season, also threw bullpen sessions. Severino tossed 29 pitches in his second ‘pen after throwing Friday in Toronto, working towards facing live hitting as soon as Sunday.
“This is the first time I’ve been inside our bullpen in a long time, so I’m getting excited,” Severino said. “But hopefully everything is good, and I’m real fresh, and can help the bullpen and starting rotation.”
Boone added that he was pleased with what he saw in the ‘pen.
“He’s healthy and he’s Luis Severino, so it’s going to look good,” he said. “His changeup, he had a good feel for, then spun a few at the end. I thought it was a really good sign for him”
Betances said he threw 20 pitches, after flat-ground throwing sessions over the weekend. He’s expected to throw another bullpen session on Thursday.
“I’ve got to go through all these bullpens and throw live and see how my body bounces back,” Betances said. “I think that’s the big test for me.”