ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The New York Yankees placed an outfielder Andres Benintendi on the 10-day injured list with right wrist inflammation after he was injured during Friday’s 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the third inning, Benintendi, who had a leadoff double in the first, swung and missed on the first pitch of his second at-bat against a Rays starter. Jeffrey Springs90-mph sinker, and began shaking his right hand vigorously before leaving the game.
Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Benintendi would need more testing after undergoing an MRI that had inconclusive results.
“Right now, it’s wrist inflammation,” Boone said before the start of Saturday’s game at Tropicana Field after being informed of Benintendi’s status. “We need to get some more tests, some more pictures and more opinions to really narrow down exactly what it is. I think there are still some questions there.”
“They need to look at a few more things,” he continued. “Just not sure where we thought it might not be injured so they need to get more CT scans. I’ve just been informed about it a little bit so I don’t really have much for you other than he’s going on the IL but it’s a little bit inconclusive now exactly what.”
Benintendi has struggled in his first two weeks since being acquired by the Kansas City Royals, with a .206 batting average and zero home runs in his first 18 games in pinstripes. But he’s been one of the few Yankees hitters swinging a hot bat lately. In his previous 10 games entering Friday night, Benintendi was hitting .325 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBIs.
Boone explained that the team would not have a timeline on a possible return for Benintendi until they receive the results of some additional testing.
“We don’t know what we have. I’ve literally only been told about it, so it’s hard to know,” Boone noted. “[We’ll] mix and match [in the outfield]. And hopefully create an opportunity for somebody to kind of kick the door down.”
The Yankees recalled outfielder Estevan Florial from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as another option to squad in the outfield with Aaron Judge, Team Locastro, Aaron Hicksand a novice Oswaldo Cabrera. Boone said there is no plan yet for a designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton to return to the outfield, as he was recently activated from the IL after missing more than a month with left Achilles tendinitis.
In addition to Benintendi’s absence, the Yankees will also be without a slugging first baseman Antonio Rizzo apparently longer than anticipated by Boone.
Boone said Friday that Rizzo had an epidural after being out of the starting lineup Wednesday night because of lingering back problems. Rizzo saw back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, the spine consultant for most of the Los Angeles professional sports teams, and received an epidural injection on Thursday, an off-day for the Yankees.
“He did have an epidural [Thursday] in California. Really optimistic that this helps him moving forward,” Boone said Friday, the same day Rizzo flew back to New York. “There’s a lot of optimism that these shots are going to do the trick, as far as getting the pain out of there. Hopefully, when we’re ready to start the homestand, he’ll be ready to go.”
But Boone hedged on a possible return for Rizzo when addressing the injury on Saturday, explaining that it may take a few more days of baseball activities before any potential return. “Maybe it’s Monday [or] Tuesday goes up. We just have to see how these next couple of days go,” he said.
Rizzo missed four games July 5–8 while dealing with a lower back strain, which also caused him to miss five games in early August. Rizzo described this type of injury, a recurring issue in his career, as a back spasm. The lefty struggled offensively in August, with a .208 batting average and 26 strikeouts in 21 games played, but fared better at the plate, homering in back-to-back games last Monday and Tuesday to hit the 30-homer mark for Tuesday. first time since 2017 with the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, right-winger Jameson Taillonwho had to leave his start Tuesday after just two innings because of a right forearm contusion after being hit by a line drive, went through his entire pitching and training program without problems and is slated to return to his place in the rotation, likely. Monday or Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins.
Starter Nestor Cortes Jr., who is on the IL with a low-grade Grade 2 groin strain, threw to live batters Saturday at the Yankees’ Player Development complex in Tampa and bounced back well after his three-inning, 45-pitch outing.
Boone said the lefty, on the 15-day IL since Aug. 25, is positioned to return to the rotation during the Yankees’ next homestand. Cortes could throw a bull price on Monday or Tuesday and that will determine his place. The Yankees’ upcoming seven-game homestand, which begins Labor Day Monday, includes four games against Minnesota and three more against the Rays.
Starter Luis Severino, who is currently on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain, has begun ramping up his rehab. Severino threw 40 pitches in his first rehab outing with the Low-A Tampa Tarpons on Friday, 22 pitches on the field during a rain-shortened outing, before throwing 18 more in the bullpen. Boone said he expected Severino to bounce back well and throw another rehab game in the minors next week. Severino is eligible to leave the IL in mid-September.
The Yankees also announced that they signed right-hander Ryan Weber to a major league contract and designated a left-hander. Anthony Banda for a job making a spot on their 40-man roster.