Josh Beckett cleared to start Thursday versus Indians

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Josh Beckett skipped his scheduled Saturday start because of a sore lat muscle and Aaron Cook had a disastrous outing in his place, but Beckett avoided the disabled list and has been cleared to rejoin the rotation Thursday versus the Indians.

Beckett told Ian Browne of MLB.com that he won’t have any pitch count restrictions after missing just one turn in the rotation and he’d thrown 126, 100, and 110 pitches in his previous three outings.

Since an ugly season debut versus the Tigers on April 7 in which he served up five homers Beckett has started four games with a 2.93 ERA and 21/8 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.