The New York Yankees are battling injury on several fronts, ranging from the starting bullpen to the starting infield. Currently, the team is nursing Luis Severino back to health after dealing with shoulder inflammation, placing him on the 60-day injured list.
However, the Yankees scratched starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the lineup on Friday evening, and he was missing once again on Saturday.
Rizzo has been dealing with a lower back injury this season, an issue that has bothered him in the past, forcing him to miss time. Just before Friday’s game, the Yankees decided to give him a few days off to help recuperate.
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The Yankees shouldn’t be without Rizzo for too long:
“Him and Timmy [Tim Lentych, head athletic trainer] came into my office right before and just felt like they didn’t want to push through,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He felt something a little bit in batting practice, so we’ll see what we have.”
Manager Aaron Boone doesn’t seem to believe the injury is anything serious but rather a maintenance-related decision.
“I think last time he knew it was very similar to what he’s had sometimes in the past, where he knew it was going to be a few days,” Boone said. “He didn’t seem to think that was the case when he came in right before.”
Rizzo has been a star for the Yankees this season, hitting .227 with a 35% on base rate, 27 homers, and 66 RBIs. Rizzo is on pace to break his personal record of 32 homers, earning a 17% strikeout rate and 11.6% walk rate to boot.
The 32-year-old veteran signed a two-year, $32 million deal with an opt-out after the 2022 campaign this past off-season. The decision to retain Rizzo instead of going all out for Freddie Freeman or Matt Olson has seemingly panned out.
In the month of July, Rizzo hit .257 with a 39.5% on-base rate, four homers, and 11 RBIs. He struck out just 12 times over 70 at-bats. His numbers have improved post-All-Star break, hitting .244 with a 37% on base rate.
In his place, the Yankees will start DJ LeMahieu at first base, the usual utility shift. Hopefully, the team won’t have to push on for long without arguably their most lethal lefty bat.