On the injury front, it is one step forward and two steps back for the New York Yankees. The Yankees announced a series of roster moves Monday afternoon and, long story short, they welcomed Aaron Hicks back while placing Miguel Andujar and Jonathan Loaisiga on the injured list. A recap of their roster moves:
- Activated OF Aaron Hicks off the 10-day injured list.
- Placed 3B Miguel Andujar and RHP Jonathan Loaisiga on the 10-day injured list.
- Recalled RHP Chance Adams and LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. from Triple-A.
- Optioned OF Mike Tauchman to Triple-A.
The good news? Hicks is healthy and in the lineup for the first time this season. He went down with a back issue in spring training that eventually required two cortisone shorts and weeks of rest. Hicks authored a .255/.368/.470 batting line the last two seasons and emerged as one of the top two-way center fielders in the game. The Yankees have missed him greatly.
The bad news? Andujar may need season-ending surgery and Loaisiga will be shut down at least a month, according to manager Aaron Boone. Andujar missed five weeks earlier this season with the same labrum tear, though he responded well to treatment and rehab, and returned to the Yankees on May 4. The numbers since his return have been ugly:
- 3 for 34 (.088) with one walk and nine strikeouts
- 83.9 mph average exit velocity
- 52.0 percent ground ball rate
The injury is to Andujar's right shoulder, his back shoulder when hitting (not the front/power shoulder), though the Yankees believe it is impacting him at the plate. He hasn't hit the ball hard at all since returning and he's struggled to get it in the air.
"We do feel feel like the injury is certainly a contributing factor to some of the struggles," Boone told reporters, including Zach Braziller of the New York Post, before Andujar was placed on the injured list Monday afternoon. "The IL is something we might do real quickly and just give it a little timeout to declare itself a little bit more and reevaluate it ... It's just we've got to get a better handle on this and probably get him built up in the best way possible if we can move forward with that."
As for Loaisiga, he was originally scheduled to start Monday night's game. He complained of discomfort following his recent between-starts bullpen session and the Yankees had to scramble for a replacement. Long reliever RHP Luis Cessa will start Monday with Adams as support. Cortes was called up an hour before first pitch and may not arrive in time for Monday's game.
With Hicks being activated and Andujar and Loaisiga landing on the injured list, the Yankees now have 13 players on the shelf. The walking wounded:
- Miguel Andujar (torn labrum)
- Dellin Betances (shoulder inflammation)
- Greg Bird (torn plantar fascia)
- Jacoby Ellsbury (hip surgery)
- Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery)
- Ben Heller (Tommy John surgery)
- Aaron Judge (oblique strain)
- Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder strain)
- Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery)
- James Paxton (knee inflammation)
- Luis Severino (shoulder inflammation, lat strain)
- Giancarlo Stanton (biceps strain, shoulder inflammation)
- Troy Tulowitzki (calf strain)
Stanton faced live pitching at the team's spring training complex Monday and isn't closer to a return. Paxton and Tulowitzki could be back within three weeks as well, otherwise those are all long-term injuries. The Yankees won't get many of those players back until June or July, or even later in some cases.
Despite all the injuries, the Yankees have won 19 of their last 27 and they are 24-16 on the season overall, a half-game behind the Rays in the AL East. , but thrive.