The Yankees have already suffered too many injuries to count, ranging from the starting rotation to their backup catchers. In fact, starting centerfielder Harrison Bader is dealing with an oblique strain that will keep him out for the start of the regular season, so the Bombers are already supplementing and looking for solutions.
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On Sunday morning, the Yankees scratched starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the lineup, who is dealing with a lingering back issue that is considered chronic. Rizzo will have to undergo plenty of workload management in 2023 to ensure he is healthy down the stretch, but already facing these problems before Opening Day poses significant concerns.
Anthony Rizzo (back) was scratched from the Fort Myers trip. Aaron Boone said that Rizzo’s back is “cranky” but expects him to play Tuesday. Said it’s “something we wanted to stay ahead of.”Via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
The Yankees are approaching Anthony Rizzo’s situation with caution:
According to Boone, they are simply trying to stay ahead of the curve regarding Rizzo’s back, but this suggests DJ LeMahieu will play a much bigger role at first base than previously thought.
At 33 years old, Rizzo played in 130 games last season, but that may reduce in 2023 if the back issue continues to flare up. He ended up hitting .224 with a .338 OBP, including a career-high 32 homers and 75 RBIs last year, earning a two-year, $40 million extension with a 2025 club option.
The Yankees are simply showing precaution, which is essential given that they’ve already lost several starters this spring. Luckily, Anthony is hitting efficiently, recording a .417 average and .417 OBP across 12 at-bats, including five hits over the past few weeks.