The Yankees bullpen took a hit Tuesday, as right-hander Tommy Kahnle was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. The move was made retroactive to yesterday, so Kahnle is eligible to be activated next Thursday.
“We’re hoping that this is something that we can knock out with a few days of rest,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said to Bryan Hoch. “That’ll unfold over the next 24 hours and days ahead. We’re at least optimistic that it is a minor situation.”
Fellow right-hander Luis Cessa was scratched from his scheduled start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and joins the team’s bullpen prior to tonight’s matchup with the Miami Marlins.
Kahnle had been seeing a dip in his velocity, though the team and Kahnle attributed that to mechanical issues. But, an MRI showed the tendinitis, and the Yankees believed it would be better to allow Kahnle to rest and rehabilitate for at least 10 days. So far this season Kahnle has a 6.14 ERA (5.68 FIP) in 7⅓ innings pitched for the Yankees.
The injury bug has struck again, as veteran lefty CC Sabathia had to leave Friday’s start against the Baltimore Orioles after four innings and 58 pitches with “right hip soreness”. The team announced the injury, and that Sabathia would undergo an MRI on his injured hip.
Tommy Kahnle replaced Sabathia in the fifth inning. CC gave up three solo home runs (two to Manny Machado, the other to Chris Davis) in his four innings. After an inning-ending strikeout of Anthony Santander, it looked like the lefty was limping during his walk off of the field.
The Yankees will likely recall either Luis Cessa or Domingo Germán if Sabathia must go on the disabled list.
Boy, have the Yankees had bad luck with outfield prospects beginning their careers recently. Billy McKinney, who replaced the injured Aaron Hicks on the active roster, has gone down after he sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder crashing into the outfield wall in left field at Rogers Centre.
McKinney stayed in for one play after the injury, but was quickly lifted once it was clear that his throwing arm was compromised. The 23-year-old went 1-for-4 in his debut game, but did not come to the plate in his second game. He was replaced by Brett Gardner in left field.
The Yankees now have some very limited outfield depth with McKinney joining Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier on the disabled list. They have started to play Giancarlo Stanton more in left field, and can turn to Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes in an emergency situation.
After Wade and Torreyes, the situation becomes even more murky. Shane Robinson was in camp as a non-roster invitee, and there were impressive contributions from lower-level prospects like Estevan Florial, Trey Amburgey and Jeff Hendrix.
Before turning to any of their minor league depth, the Yankees certainly have to be rooting for one of Ellsbury, Frazier or Hicks to return from injury. For the time being, Stanton in left, Gardner in center and Aaron Judge in right will have to do.
To replace McKinney on the roster, the Yankees promoted 3B/1B Miguel Andújar from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The RailRiders do not open their season until April 6, so Andújar might be best served on the big league roster anyway. Andújar slashed .267/.306/.622 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 15 Spring Training games this year. He is ranked as the team’s No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline.
By adding Andújar as infield insurance, Aaron Boone can have a little more liberty with his utility players.
Well, this isn’t ideal. The Yankees’ PR Twitter account announced Friday that Opening Day center fielder Aaron Hicks has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain. Outfielder Billy McKinney has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot on the active roster.
There’s no clear evidence as to when in last night’s season opener Hicks suffered his injury. Hicks went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. He spent most of 2017 as the Yankees’ primary center fielder, slashing .266/.372/.475 (127 wRC+) with 15 home runs in 88 games. He did spend extended time on the disabled list in 2017 with a nagging oblique injury.
McKinney impressed with his power in Spring Training after being added to the 40-man roster in the offseason. He slashed .167/.340/.524 with five homers and 13 RBIs while seeing time in the outfield corners and first base. He picked up a first baseman’s glove again for the first time since high school with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. McKinney showed his first round promise last year between Double-A and Triple-A, slashing a combined .277/.338/.483 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs between the two levels.
This injury complicates things slightly for rookie manager Aaron Boone. Luckily, he has a lot of versatility that he can deploy with his bench. I think we might see a bit of Tyler Wade in the outfield now, with Neil Walker sliding to second base and Tyler Austin getting more reps at first base. Brett Gardner likely slides into center field to replace Hicks.
Of course, Giancarlo Stanton can also play left field, though the plan with that was to limit his time out there to games against tough left-handed pitchers. McKinney can play both outfield corners as well.
The news out of Tampa continues to be promising about Jacoby Ellsbury, whom Brian Cashman said needed “40-50 at-bats” before he would return from an oblique injury suffered early in Spring Training. Even with all of his faults, Ellsbury’s ability to play center field would greatly help the Yankees.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Jacoby Ellsbury is injured. Reported March 2 as a “mild oblique strain,” the 34-year-old outfielder has not played since March 1 at the Philadelphia Phillies because of the nagging injury.
Ellsbury was 1-for-10 in four Spring Training games before suffering the injury. He missed 29 games in 2017 because of a concussion suffered May 24 at Yankee Stadium. He was hitting .281/.349/.422 at the time of the injury, but finished the season with a .264/.348/.402 line.
With the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton and the ascendance of Aaron Hicks in the eyes of the Yankees, Ellsbury looked to be the team’s fifth outfielder in 2018.
The Yankees have not decided whether to fill Ellsbury’s roster spot with another bench player or a 13th pitcher. Aaron Boone mentioned Luis Cessa, Domingo Germán, Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder as potential candidates if the Yankees decided to go with a 13th pitcher.
The additional bench spot could go to someone like Tyler Austin, who has had a fantastic spring but has no clear path to playing time. Austin was looking to break camp as the team’s backup first baseman, but the signing of Neil Walker cut those chances significantly.
Boone mentioned that the Yankees would not necessarily take another outfielder if Ellsbury is on the disabled list, which would also harm Billy McKinney‘s chances of heading north with the Yankees.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported Monday that Boone will have the team’s 25-man roster for the opening series against the Blue Jays in Toronto set for the team’s March 26 exhibition game against the Braves in Atlanta.
UPDATE (March 10 at 3:28 p.m.): The injury to Wade is not as serious as originally thought, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
Wade will likely miss a game or two. A great young player catches a lucky break with what would’ve been a devastating injury.
“I’m fine. Scary more than anything else. I’m glad I’m ok,” Wade said to Newsday’s Erik Boland.
Yankees second baseman Tyler Wade left Saturday’s game with an apparent left wrist injury after diving for a ground ball hit by José Reyes of the New York Mets. He came up grasping the left wrist with great pain on his face.
Wade was slashing .318/.385/.364 with two RBIs coming into today’s contest. He was replaced at second base by Kyle Holder.
The 23-year-old looked to be grabbing the lead in the competition to start at second base for the Yankees on opening day. He is competing with Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes, Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson for the job.
At this point, the Yankees have had no official comment on the injury.
The second Subway Series preview comes to Tampa today, as Matt Harvey and Luis Cessa square off on a beautiful Florida afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Cessa makes his third start of the spring, and will try to keep up with Domingo Germán in the competition to be the team’s sixth starter. So far in camp, Cessa has allowed five runs (four earned) through four innings of work. He missed his March 2 start due to a stiff neck, and Germán stepped into that role.
Giancarlo Stanton gets his third start of the spring in left field, with Aaron Judge playing on the other side of Brett Gardner in right and center field, respectively. Tyler Austin starts at first base today, with Greg Bird not listed on the lineup card as an available player. Tyler Wade looks to continue his strong audition for the second base job as he bats ninth and mans the keystone.
We’re likely to see some star-studded relievers today, with LHP Aroldis Chapman, RHP David Robertson, RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Adam Warren listed on today’s game notes.
- Clint Frazier spoke to the media this morning regarding his concussion. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported the outfielder has needed to be driven to camp beacuse of “scary” moments driving. “There’s a lot of positives that have come, but I’m not over the hump … I want all positives. I want no negatives,” Frazier said per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
- Frazier ran, hit and threw today with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has been out with oblique tightness, and has not appeared in a game since March 1.
- Amed Rosario – SS
- Juan Lagares – CF
- Brandon Nimmo – RF
- Phillip Evans – 1B
- Wilmer Flores – 3B
- José Reyes – 2B
- Travis d’Arnaud – C
- Tim Tebow – DH
- Zach Borenstein – LF
Matt Harvey – RHP
The Yankees have been hit with their first in-game injury of Spring Training, and the victim is outfielder Clint Frazier. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters today that Frazier suffered a mild concussion making a circus catch on the warning track at the Pirates’ Spring Training complex in Bradenton Saturday.
The winds were swirling that day, and Frazier made an incredible catch at the wall to rob a hit. But, “Boone said that Frazier mentioned a cloudy sensation” after hitting his head on the chain-link fence that covers an outfield scoreboard at LECOM Park, per Bryan Hoch.
Frazier proceeded to tell Boone that he felt better Monday, though he will likely be held out of game action until all of his symptoms subsided. Frazier is not the first Yankees outfielder to deal with concussion symptoms, as Jacoby Ellsbury missed 29 games with a concussion suffered May 24 crashing into the center field wall at Yankee Stadium.
“He reminded me that he could turn on 96 [mph] right now,” Boone said to Hoch.
The 23-year-old is considered to have an outside chance at breaking camp with the MLB club after the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. So far in the spring, he is slashing .250/.400/.250 through two games.
All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Monday in Los Angeles, according to a team announcement on Twitter.
Judge was named the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year for the 2017 season after slashing .284/.422/.627 (173 wRC+) with 52 home runs and 114 RBIs. He finished second in AL Most Valuable Player voting to Houston Astros’ 2B José Altuve.
The 25-year-old played in 155 games last season, starting all but four of them. He started 141 total games in right field, and 11 as the designated hitter. There had been speculation that something was ailing Judge as he became mired in a slump after the All-Star Break.
Many opted to blame the Home Run Derby (which Judge won), but reporters and fans observed Judge frequently wearing ice packs on his shoulder after games. But, if the shoulder is what caused the slump, he never showed it. Judge never made any excuses, and rebounded to slash .311/.463/.889 with 15 home runs and 32 RBIs in September.
Per the announcement, Judge is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
After departing last night’s game early, outfielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Hicks exited after running down a ball hit by Hanley Ramírez in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game. He was replaced in center field in the following inning by Jacoby Ellsbury. Hicks missed 39 games with a right oblique strain earlier this season.
To fill his roster spot, the Yankees pulled a bit of a head-scratcher. They recalled left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees will play at least Sunday’s game with a fourth outfielder named Ronald Torreyes or Matt Holliday. The Yankees have both Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade, each with some corner outfield experience, on the 40-man roster. They could be summoned to the big leagues without the 10-day rule applying because of injury.
Presumably, Ellsbury will start in center field while Hicks is absent.