BOSTON — A Yankees outfield hit by the injury bug all season took one more Monday with the news that Mike Tauchman likely will miss the rest of the season with Grade 2 left calf strain.
Tauchman, who suffered the injury in the fourth inning of Sunday night’s victory over the Red Sox, received the diagnosis in New York Monday after returning there for an MRI.
It is a brutal end of the season for a player acquired in an under-the-radar deal at the end of the spring but who had a breakout season, playing well in the field and contributing a surprising amount at the plate, including 13 homers in 87 games.
“I hurt for him,” manager Aaron Boone said before Monday night’s game. “Obviously, he’s been such an important player for us. I’m trying to support him and I look forward to seeing him when he does get back with us. I know he’s a big part of us moving forward even though obviously [he's] not going to be on the playing field for awhile. Right now I’m just bummed for him, but we’ve got to keep moving.”
Injured outfielders include Giancarlo Stanton, who has been limited to nine games this season because of a variety of injuries, including a right knee sprain that has sidelined him since June 26. But Boone said Stanton, who hit in Tampa at the minor league complex Monday — the third time in four days he’s faced live pitching there — could rejoin the Yankees at some point during their next homestand, which begins next Tuesday against the Angels.
“He’s ramping up pretty good and he’s getting close to where it’s full baserunning,” Boone said. “He’s doing his full defense already. We’re going to have him slide and kind of do everything, and hopefully he’ll be back in the mix with us sometime in the next week.”
In the short term — and perhaps in the long term, depending on Stanton’s progress — Cameron Maybin assumes everyday duties in leftfield. The veteran had been out of late with soreness in his left wrist, a “lingering discomfort” in his TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) ligament. But he came in for Tauchman on Sunday and said he’s ready for whatever’s to come, including everyday work.
“I’ve been playing through it most of the year but I just had a stretch where it kind of got a little bit tough and it was kind of changing my swing,” Maybin said. “I think now I’m good to go.”
When he can’t play, Boone first mentioned Clint Frazier, a defensive liability, as someone who will see time in left. Boone quickly included Tyler Wade and Breyvic Valera and said "we're very much covered."
David Ortiz, who was shot in the back June 9 in his native Dominican Republic and was rushed to Boston to undergo surgery, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday night’s game, his first time back at Fenway since the shooting.