Now the All-Star outfielder needs surgery, and his status for the grueling run of the season and the playoffs is unclear. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters Sunday that testing revealed that Benintendi was holding a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He suffered the injury during Friday’s 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays while swinging during the third inning.
Initial x-rays did not reveal the break, but a CT scan over the weekend did. Benintendi needs surgery to repair the fracture. He is scheduled to meet with specialists on Monday to further evaluate the injury and treatment plan.
“I’m meeting with some doctors in New York, and we’ll go from there,” Benintendi said, via MLB.com. “We’ll just take it day by day at this point, I guess. I will need surgery at some point and will do so as soon as possible.”
Benintendi sustained a previous fracture of the same bone in college as a freshman at Arkansas. He had a procedure then to remove the broken bone, but apparently it wasn’t completely removed.
“Could be a little left over or whatever,” Boone told reporters. “He’s going to have to operate on that.”
The good news for Benintendi is that his recovery time in college was relatively short, leaving hope that he can return to the lineup before the end of the season. The Yankees have 28 games remaining before the regular season ends on October 5.
“When I went through this before, it was just about a couple of weeks,” Benintendi said. “We’ll see what happens. Obviously, I want to get back out there in time for the latter part of the season and then, hopefully, the playoffs. It is too early to tell now.”
Benintendi, 28, made his first All-Star game this season with the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees traded him at the deadline in exchange for the franchise’s No. 19 prospect TJ Sikkema, No. 21 prospect Beck Way and unranked prospect Chandler Champlain, all pitchers. The Yankees acquired him for the playoff run of that season. He is scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason.
In 126 games with the Yankees and Royals this season, Benintendi is slashing .304/.373/.399 with five home runs, 51 RBI and eight stolen bases. His average fell from .320 with the Royals to .254 in 33 games with the Yankees. The Yankees have struggled to an 11-20 record since August 1 but maintain a five-game lead over the Rays in the AL East with an 80-54 record.