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Aaron Hicks to have wrist surgery, could miss rest of season

Well, the headline and Bryan Hoch’s tweet say it all. The Yankees have lost Aaron Hicks for what quite possibly will be the remainder of 2021. This is reminiscent of Mark Teixeira needing season ending surgery for the same injury back in 2013.

Hicks was already on the injured list, so there’s no corresponding roster move. Presumably, he will be transferred to the 60-day injured list at some point so the team can add someone new to the 40-man roster. That player could be Delino DeShields, whose name came up in rumors this morning.

There definitely will be someone coming along at some point, because 37 year-old Brett Gardner will need some help out in center field. Whether that’s Greg Allen, who’s currently on the Triple-A injured list, or a trade for someone like DeShields (or someone else), expect something soon. No, not Estevan Florial. He’s not ready yet.


Game 38: Aaron Hicks has torn tendon sheath in wrist, Giancarlo Stanton scratched

Update, 6:10pm: More good news.

Well that’s just great. I’m sure we’ll find out more in the postgame. As a result, Luke Voit is now batting second instead of fourth. Gary Sánchez will clean up and DH.

Original post: Ugh. Yesterday, the Yankees sat center fielder Aaron Hicks due to wrist soreness and sent him for imaging. Today, we get the word that he has a torn tendon sheath in his wrist. That’s the same injury Mark Teixeira suffered in 2013, limiting him to just 15 games before surgery in July ended his season.

Now, the Teixeira comparison is a bit dramatic, but surgery is a possibility. For the time being, he’s taking medication in hope that it will resolve itself in the next few days. This injury likely explains a good deal of Hicks’s struggles at the plate this season.

For the time being, expect Brett Gardner everyday in center field. That said, someone else is going to have to play there on occasion. We saw Aaron Judge out there in recent years, though that’s certainly not an ideal place to put him in order to keep him healthy. Ultimately, this could force the Yankees hand to promote Estevan Florial, whether he’s ready or not. Florial was just bumped up to Triple-A today, by the way. As Bobby noted in our Slack, this seems partially procedural to get him into the Tier 1 status for a quick promotion, if needed.

So, Hicks is out of the lineup today, but not on the injured list yet. That leaves the lineups as follows for tonight’s series opener:

New York Yankees (20-17)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Luke Voit, 1B
  5. Clint Frazier, LF
  6. Brett Gardner, CF
  7. Miguel Andújar, 3B
  8. Kyle Higashioka, C
  9. Tyler Wade, SS

RHP Corey Kluber

Baltimore Orioles (16-21)

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Austin Hays, LF
  3. Trey Mancini, 1B
  4. Freddy Galvis, SS
  5. Ryan Mountcastle, DH
  6. DJ Stewart, RF
  7. Maikel Franco, 3B
  8. Pedro Severino, C
  9. Pat Valaika, 2B

RHP Dean Kremer

News & Notes

  • Apparently, Gleyber Torres might not have to sit out 10 days after all. Should he clear protocols, he can return sooner. (Bryan Hoch)
  • The team had another day of negative tests, which puts them closer to being past this COVID-19 outbreak. (Erik Boland)
  • Gio Urshela sits again tonight, but his knee is doing better per Aaron Boone. He could be an option tonight. (Lindsey Adler)
  • So, how about Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield? Boone isn’t committed, but it’s under consideration. (Jack Curry)
  • Zack Britton will throw to hitters tomorrow for the first time since bone chip surgery. Additionally, Luis Severino is essentially at the start of spring training stage. He threw 96-97 MPH yesterday and mixed in sliders and changeups. (Pete Caldera)

Got all that? What a whirlwind. Still have a game to play, of course. It starts at 7:05pm eastern. You can watch on WPIX, Amazon Prime, or MLB Network (out-of-market only). WFAN and WADO has the radio call. Have a good night everyone.

Game 31: A Game Of Thrones-like Bad Finale

Let’s keep it short as it was a 1 pm start on a work day. The great Yankees bullpen couldn’t do the job today to get the sweep against the Astros. It happens and they will blow some games here and there. They are still awesome and will be awesome more times than bad. So it ends the winning streak, but let’s get another one going.

Still in the Sticks

A little less than a month ago, I wrote about Aaron Hicks and his slow start. Since then, it really hasn’t gotten better. Hicks is still scuffling at the plate, to be generous, despite some flashes here and there.

Back then, the issue was strikeout rate and pop-up rate. The former has come down to a more manageable level at about 24%, but that’s still high for him. The latter number has ticked up to 16.1%, so he’s still getting under things too much.

At the time, the one positive for Hicks was his walk rate, checking in at the 63rd percentile in MLB. Now, that’s dropped down to 58. Still better than average, but way off for Hicks, who’s routinely in the mid to high 90’s with his walk rate percentiles. Last year and at other times, walks kept Hicks’ production afloat.

This year, they’re dropping and that’s concerning when he’s not hitting. Let’s take a look at why.

The logical place to start is, as always, chase rate. Is Hicks expanding the zone? The answer is yes, on all pitch types. After what were essentially career low chase rates in 2020, he’s setting career highs in the worst way.

It seems as if Hicks’ normally patient approach, that’s paired with good strike zone judgement, is faltering a bit this year. To boot, he’s got a first pitch swing % of 27.4, a mark so high he hasn’t hit it since 2016. We should note that, per B-R, he’s 1-11 on the first pitch this year, so even when he’s trying to jump on something, it’s not working.

Perhaps that’s because, first pitch or not, he’s not attacking the right pitches. His meatball swing% is down to a career low 73.1%. If he’s letting good pitches go by and then chasing other ones, well, you can guess what happens.

If there’s any consolation here, it’s that, per Statcast, he’s got some positive regression coming…maybe. His “X” stats, expected stats, show he should be doing better, but…he’s not. Maybe once he stops chasing and stops getting so under the ball things will even out. There’s still plenty of time.

Game 27: Taillon and Judge pave the way to victory

Embed from Getty Images

The Yankees took care of business against the Tigers this afternoon, winning 6-4. Jameson Taillon pitched five strong innings and Aaron Judge delivered a couple of big hits to seal this one. The Yanks have now won the first two of this series and can complete a sweep of the lowly Tigers tomorrow afternoon.

I think it’s safe to say that this team has turned a corner, no? They’re 7-3 over the last ten games and it doesn’t necessarily feel like they’ve quite hit their stride. There are still some players scuffling and some fundamental mistakes, but as a whole, the offense is scoring and the rotation is rounding into shape.

Now, let’s break down today’s W:

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