What’s On Tap: Previewing Thursday’s Afternoon Action

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We have day baseball. A couple of games which started at noon when I wasn’t paying attention. Jeez, guys. Have brunch or something first, will ya? No rush here.

Watch out for flying balls in Chicago. I feel like Weaver/Danks is gonna favor the hitter. Meanwhile, Miller vs. Cueto is a nice early season matchup of imports to the NL West.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 12:10 PM EDT, Turner Field;

Seattle Mariners (Nathan Karns) @ Cleveland Indians (Cody Anderson), 12:10 PM EDT, Progressive Field;

Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 1:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park;

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 1:35 PM EDT, Fenway Park;

Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Tyler Jungmann), 1:40 PM EDT, Miller Park;

Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) @ Chicago White Sox (John Danks), 2:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field;

Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) @ San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto), 3:45 PM EDT, AT&T Park

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.