ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks both missed the Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Rays on Thursday night at Tropicana Field, with LeMahieu still nursing a left wrist injury and Hicks sidelined by right hamstring tightness that he started feeling on Wednesday.
Both players, though, had eyes on returning to the lineup on Friday.
LeMahieu, discouraged before the game by the lack of improvement in his wrist since he received a cortisone shot on Tuesday, said he felt “much better” by the time the game ended.
“I don’t want to get too excited, but I definitely felt better as the day’s gone on, ” LeMahieu said, who hasn’t been in the lineup since a doubleheader on Sunday in The Bronx.
The following day, his wrist hurt, which led to the shot.
Asked if he felt optimistic about avoiding an IL stint – a possibility manager Aaron Boone raised before the game if LeMahieu isn’t able to play by Friday – LeMahieu said, “Yes,” and admitted heading to the IL had “crossed my mind. ”
Hicks had been slated to start in center field, but was removed from the leadoff spot and replaced in center by Aaron Judge, who had initially been placed in the DH spot.
Hicks said he felt discomfort rounding first base on Wednesday night and the hamstring remained tight Thursday, although he believed he’d be back in the lineup Friday.
Both players have been mired in tough stretches at the plate, with LeMahieu hitless in his previous nine at-bats and Hicks with just a .582 OPS on the season.
Hicks had shown some improvement of late, going 5-for-18, but his power has continued to be nonexistent.
With Giancarlo Stanton already out, newly signed Matt Carpenter was inserted into the lineup just hours after he arrived at Tropicana Field after signing with the Yankees. He scored twice, with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Carpenter, a former All-Star with the Cardinals, was recently granted his release by the Rangers, where he was playing for their Triple-A affiliate, trying to bounce back from back-to-back down seasons with St. Louis.
The Yankees joined the Rays in using their social media channels to “offer facts about the impacts of gun violence” instead of game coverage during the game between the two teams Thursday.
The move was made in response to “the devastating events that have taken place in Uvalde [Texas]Buffalo and countless other communities across our nation. ”
Zack Britton, who underwent elbow surgery in September, is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Tuesday. The left-hander has said since the procedure he hoped to return for the latter part of this season and now appears to be on track to do so. Britton, who is rehabbing in Tampa, stopped by the clubhouse prior to the game Thursday.
He’s in the final year of a three-year, $ 39 million contract that has not paid off for the Yankees, as Britton struggled before the surgery last season after a stellar 2020 campaign.