ANAHEIM, Calif. — On the day the New York Yankees finally got back one reinforcement from their 13-man injured list, manager Aaron Boone disclosed some less promising news about two other banged-up stars.
According to Boone, outfielder Clint Frazier will go on the injured list Thursday because of a left ankle injury that popped up this week and has been more temperamental than previously believed.
An MRI revealed “enough in there” to shut Frazier down, Boone said.
“Some partial tear and stuff that it’s going to cost him the 10 days,” Boone said, adding that he didn’t know at the time the exact nature of what was partially torn. “The good news is we feel like [the IL stint] will be short. [Doctors] feel like it’s 10-14-day thing. Maybe a little less. So we don’t feel like it’s a long thing.”
Several hours before announcing the update on Frazier, Boone revealed that outfielder and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from an arm injury has hit a snag. Although the left biceps strain that landed Stanton on the IL on April 1 has completely healed, Boone said Wednesday that a separate, “residual” left shoulder problem has appeared.
Boone didn’t specify the nature of the injury but said Stanton in recent days has been dealing with “stuff” in his left shoulder.
“He’s just kind of had it,” Boone said.
Once, early in the 2013 season while he was with the Miami Marlins, Stanton was scratched from a game because of a sore left shoulder. He was listed as day-to-day with the injury over the next six days before returning to the lineup. He hasn’t been formally diagnosed with any other shoulder ailments during his big league career.
Upon arriving in Anaheim with the rest of the club earlier this week, Stanton had a cortisone shot, Boone said.
“He’s in day two or three of not swinging,” Boone said.
The Yankees will let the effects of the shot settle into Stanton a little longer before he’s able to pick up a bat. The plan is to leave the superstar in Southern California this weekend while the rest of the team travels to Northern California for its scheduled three-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
A native of suburban Los Angeles, Stanton has rehabbed from other injuries in Southern California in the past, and the Yankees will be allowing him to do that for the next several days. When the Bronx Bombers conclude their three-city road trip with a visit to Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, Stanton will join them.
“We figured now while he’s down coming back from [the biceps injury], let’s make sure to treat this as best we can so it doesn’t become a lingering issue if we can help it,” Boone said.
While it’s unclear exactly when Stanton hurt his shoulder, the Yankees are able to pinpoint the moment Frazier got hurt. It was in the middle of Monday’s series opener, when he jammed his foot awkwardly into second base while retreating on a pickoff attempt.
Frazier, 23, was visibly hobbled by the injury but played through it the rest of that game. He also said Tuesday that he believed he was good enough to play on the bum ankle.
Frazier is batting .324 with six homers and 17 RBIs in the 18 games since he was called up for Stanton.
Besides getting what he believed was a somewhat expected day off Tuesday, Frazier said the only other thing that would keep him out of any future lineups was if the ankle was broken. The Yankees apparently had a somewhat favorable original prognosis, too.
“Initially when the doctor saw him [Monday], he didn’t feel like he needed to get any tests,” Boone said Wednesday afternoon, before results of the MRI came back. “And then we kind of proactively [Tuesday], when he had some black and blue in there, decided, ‘Hey, let’s just make sure we get this thing covered the best we can and make sure we have all the answers we need.'”
Both of these injury updates came on a day when the Yankees reinstated catcher Gary Sanchez following his stint on the 10-day IL for a left calf strain.
Sanchez went 0-for-4 in the Yankees’ 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
“Felt we were pretty conservative in how we treated this,” Boone said of Sanchez’s injury. “Obviously really excited to get him back. It was good to write his name in the lineup, no question. Looking forward to him getting back in the fray and helping us continue to win games.”
Sanchez started at catcher and batted fourth Wednesday. Before going on the 10-day IL on April 12, Sanchez batted .268 with six homers.
In addition to Sanchez’s return, the Yankees had some other more promising injury news Wednesday. Boone said third baseman Miguel Andujar (small labrum tear) is “doing really well” in his rehab at the team’s facility in Tampa, Florida, and trending in the direction of not needing surgery.
He still needs a formal reevaluation to determine that, but it appears the injury can be best managed healing on its own. That will allow Andujar to stay on the field and avoid a season-ending issue.
“There’s a chance this weekend he could get some at-bats in an extended spring and then maybe make a decision about a rehab assignment from there,” the manager said.
Along with Andujar, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left calf strain) and center fielder Aaron Hicks (lower back tightness) could be close to playing in a rehab game, as well, Boone said. Hicks has been making throws from the outfield and running, and will soon face live pitching.
All three players have been rehabbing in Tampa, along with shortstop Didi Gregorius, who “continues to progress how we hoped” from his offseason Tommy John surgery. Gregorius recently made throws from shortstop, Boone said.
Even with their packed IL, the Yankees have been producing on the field. They are on a six-game winning streak, and have taken eight of their past nine.
“We never put our heads down at all, even with all the injuries,” Sanchez said through an interpreter.
Added Boone: “We got a lot of good players in there that are capable of getting this thing done, so we’ll keep doing that.”
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