Yankees: Situation in Minneapolis hit Hicks ‘particularly hard’ as he didn’t play on Monday

The New York Yankees won their Monday night game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, backed by a strong outing by their ace Gerrit Cole and two home runs from backup catcher Kyle Higashioka.

However, they didn’t have center fielder Aaron Hicks in the lineup, as the Yankees’ star was shocked and with a heavy heart after he learned about the fatal police shooting of a young black man in Minneapolis, named Daunte Wright.

The Yankees’ regular designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton also considered sitting the game out. Both men were among the most vocal clubhouse leaders in last year’s Black Lives Matter movement.

The Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox suspended their game last night out of respect for Wright’s family.

The Yankees supported Hicks’ decision

According to Yankees’ beat writer for MLB.com Bryan Hoch, Hicks approached him approximately two hours before the game to talk about the situation.

“He’s having a tough time right now,” Boone said. “We had a conversation in my office, and he just felt like it was best to not be in the starting lineup tonight. I certainly support that, and we’ll try to rally around him the best we can. The situation is heartbreaking right now in Minneapolis, and it’s hit him particularly hard.”

Hicks has roots in Minnesota, as he was drafted by the Twins in 2008 and played there until 2015. The Yankees acquired him in a trade.

“Aaron is hurting in a huge way,” Boone said. “I think in a way he felt like it was probably the responsible thing to take himself out, knowing that it was going to be hard for him to be all-in mentally in what’s a high-stakes, difficult job to go out there and perform for the New York Yankees.”

“I can’t walk in Aaron’s shoes, but as a teammate, my job is to support him and make sure he’s doing all right,” starting pitcher Gerrit Cole said. “So if that’s an arm around him or a pat on the butt, whatever he needs to go through emotionally, we’ll be here for him.”