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Yankees place Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique

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The Yankees announced on Sunday that outfielder Aaron Hicks has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. Pitcher Caleb Smith was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Hicks, 27, had to leave Saturday’s game early with the oblique injury. A left oblique kept him out of action between June 26 and August 9. When he’s been healthy, Hicks has been great for the Yankees this season, batting .265/.367/.463 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

Hicks has been splitting time in left field with Brett Gardner and in center with Jacoby Ellsbury, so those two players will play regularly while Hicks is out.

The Yankees enter Sunday’s game against the Red Sox 4.5 games out of first place.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.