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What’s Next for the Yankees Amid a Rash of Injuries

It was not a good weekend for the New York Yankees. Not only did they lose 2 of 3 to rival Boston Red Sox, but they lost two key players to injury. At Fenway Park on Sunday, the Yankees saw lefty slugger Anthony Rizzo go down with an injury after a collision with Red Sox pitcher Brennan Bernardino in the seventh inning. And on Saturday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, star prospect Jasson Dominguez exited the game with left-side discomfort. Right off the bat, things aren’t looking too great for either of them.

Yankees Lose Lefty Slugger Rizzo with Arm Injury

Lefty First Baseman Set to Miss Time

Rizzo immediately looked to be in pain, and he took a little while to get up after the collision. After leaving the game, the Yankees’ first baseman was given a fluoroscope, but it turned up negative. However, he was further examined in New York on Monday, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports Rizzo could miss four to six weeks with a fractured arm.

After the game, Aaron Judge had the following to say about his teammate and good friend: “You don’t see that [pain] from Rizz. Usually, he leads Major League Baseball in hit-by-pitches, so he’s good with dealing with pain. He’s tough.”

It seems that Rizzo just can’t catch a break. After suffering a major concussion almost exactly a year ago, his bat has not been the same. In June, his numbers are extraordinarily bleak: he is 5-for-48 with just three RBI and a single homer.

However, he showed some promise of returning to form in the Yanks’ series against the Kansas City Royals. Judge also commented on this, and assured reporters that health is more important than numbers: “The past week or so, the guy has been swinging the bat well and came up with some big hits. He had a homer against Kansas City. We’re going to miss him, but the first thing is health.”

Dominguez Has a Setback in Triple-A

As for Dominguez, his IL stint comes just days after finishing his rehab assignment due to a torn UCL. It looked as though “the Martian” had an awkward check-swing in his final at-bat on Saturday, tweaking something in the oblique area.

Though the team hasn’t provided specific information on the nature of the injury, manager Aaron Boone did say that it was severe enough to warrant going to the 7-day IL. Dominguez has been tearing up the minors this season, batting .356 with a 1.013 OPS in 23 games across Single, Double, and Triple-A.

Fans Will Have to Wait

Though no injury comes at a convenient time, now certainly isn’t the worst for Dominguez to go down. Even though fans have been clamoring for the front office to call him up to the big leagues, there’s no room for him anywhere in the lineup, and the team is winning without him. So, unfortunately, Yankees fans will have to wait a little longer before they see their star prospect back in the Bronx.

Fans certainly do not have the same sentiment towards Rizzo. New Yorkers are cruel as it is, but when their first baseman has a .630 OPS and a -0.4 brWAR, they show zero mercy. Even before his injury, there was talk that the Yankees might try to replace Rizzo if he didn’t improve. Now, those conversations are a lot more real.

Options at First

For now, the most likely scenario is that DJ LeMahieu will take over duties at first, while Oswaldo Cabrera takes his spot over at third. But this isn’t a permanent solution, even if Rizzo returns relatively soon. Their first baseman out with injury may be the omen the Yankees needed that the position could be a problem for them down the line, so don’t be surprised if Brian Cashman is actively seeking out a first baseman this July.

As terrible as it is for Rizzo and Dominguez, these two injuries likely won’t have too big an impact on the team. The Yankees will keep doing what they’re doing, with the hope that when Rizzo and Dominguez return, they’ll be ready to make a splash on the field.


Photo Credit: © Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports


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