Yankees could place veteran outfielder on injured list

aaron hicks, yankees
May 8, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks (31) walks off the field after the top of the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ outfield continues to undergo significant changes, primarily due to injury concerns. Aaron Judge made his awaited return on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, narrowly missing a few home runs. However, his teammates inflicted substantial damage, helping the Yankees win 10-5. Notably, his fellow outfielders Jake Bauers and Harrison Bader contributed four hits and four RBIs, including a home run.

However, veteran Aaron Hicks was forced to leave the game early after experiencing discomfort while rounding third base. Hicks scored a run and took a walk before being replaced by Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

“Just a little uncomfortable, I felt tight,” Hicks said on Tuesday following the win. “When I tried to drive, I just couldn’t really drive when I was coming around third. It happened right as I turned around third.”

With Judge on the IL, Hicks has been playing regularly, but now that the veteran slugger is back in the lineup, the Yankees may choose to place the struggling outfielder on the injured list. The 10-day IL would give the Bombers ample time to continue using players like Jake Bauers and allow Hicks to recover fully.

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The Yankees were just starting to see some production from Aaron Hicks:

Regrettably, Hicks has recently begun to improve his offensive production, recording two hits and a homer in his last seven at-bats. The Oakland Athletics essentially serve as the Yankees’ sacrificial lamb, offering them a chance to regain their offensive prowess and enjoy some dominant pitching performances. Even Clarke Schmidt had a solid outing on Tuesday, pitching 6.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs.

If the Yankees eventually place Hicks on the IL, they may want to call up one of their promising prospects at the Triple-A level. Primary DH Andres Chaparro has been electric in recent weeks, hitting 10 home runs with 26 RBIs across the first 31 games of the season.

After a slow start, he is now batting .281 with a .351 OBP, earning five hits on Tuesday night for the Patriots. In fact, he has hit two homers in his last three games, along with 10 RBIs. If there were ever an ideal time to call up a slugger who is genuinely on fire, this would be the perfect opportunity.