Yankees scratch starting first baseman moments before Friday’s first pitch

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The Yankees faced off against the New York Mets on Friday afternoon with 25-year-old pitcher Luis Gil on the mound. Right before the contest started, the team announced that starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo was scratched from the game with lat tightness.

Having been extra cautious with some of their veteran players this spring, it is no surprise that Rizzo is taking a day off. During the regular season, he might’ve played through some minor discomfort, but there’s no reason to risk any further injury just a week before the regular season kicks off.

The Yankees Should Get Above-Average Offense From Rizzo in 2024

Rizzo is coming off a year where he missed a substantial amount of time due to concussion symptoms, playing only 99 games. He hit .244/.328/.378, but his number took a nose dive once the symptoms settled in, which were undiagnosed.

Fortunately, the Yankees caught the issue about midway through the year, shutting Rizzo down for the rest of the campaign and allowing him to recover from exhaustion and fogginess as a result of the concussion.

However, he has returned in full force this spring, playing 14 games and hitting .412/.512/.676, including two homers and nine RBIs. He also has a 12.2% strikeout rate and a 17.1% walk rate with a 216 wRC+.

It is important to mention that Rizzo was one of the team’s best offensive players before the injury, so with the symptoms gone and the veteran infielder feeling back to normal, it is no surprise he’s looking the part of an impact piece this upcoming season.

With DJ LeMahieu dealing with a foot injury, the Yankees are a bit thin in the outfield, so they can’t afford to be losing any starters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they added a veteran to support the unit over the next few weeks.

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