Yankees’ veteran first baseman out for 4-6 weeks with arm fracture

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees will have to make a change to their roster to find more first-base help, as Anthony Rizzo will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks with an arm fracture. This comes after a collision that occurred at first base in last night’s loss to the Boston Red Sox, and this serves as a tough blow for the former World Series Champion. Rizzo, who had struggled with the Yankees this season both offensively and defensively, had started to hit a little bit after a two-game benching, but this will create plenty of conversation about how the Yankees address the position.

Conversations about whether the team should promote Ben Rice or trade for a first baseman existed before the injury, but now, it’ll get even louder given the injury to Anthony Rizzo.

Anthony Rizzo Sidelined With Arm Fracture, Yankees Need First Base Help

May 23, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) follows through on an RBI sacrifice fly against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Entering Sunday, Anthony Rizzo was hoping to get his season back on track after being benched for two games to try and give him some time off. The veteran infielder has a career-worst 84 wRC+ and -0.4 fWAR on the season, struggling both defensively and offensively to do much of anything. Coming off of a 2023 season that was derailed by a concussion he suffered during another collision at first base (that time against the Padres), the hope was that Rizzo would find a way to rebound in 2024.

Unfortunately, any potential rebounding will have to occur later in the season (if at all), as Anthony Rizzo will miss significant time with an arm fracture. Ken Rosenthal and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic were first on the news, and it’s also being reported that he’ll avoid undergoing surgery, which should allow Rizzo to return this season. The unclear part of this is whether the Yankees will have a replacement for him by the time he gets back.

Jun 6, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) reacts after being hit by a foul ball during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The expectation for now is that DJ LeMahieu and Oswaldo Cabrera will split time in the corner infield, but the clamouring for an internal option to get the call is prevalent as well. Ben Rice, who has a 172 wRC+ in Triple-A with an OPS north of 1.000, has become a popular name to be promoted, as his bat is one of the best in the organization and projects super well for a player who has yet to make his MLB debut.

Another name is T.J. Rumfield, the Gold Glove-winning first baseman who has started to catch fire as of late in Scranton after a slower start. In my opinion, the Yankees need to look for an everyday option, and that answer is not Oswaldo Cabrera or DJ LeMahieu at first base. If they go with Rice or Rumfield, it would require the team to make a change to their 40-man roster since they’re not on it, so that could complicate matters.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: