Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks was removed from Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday after sustaining another bout of hamstring tightness, per a team announcement. A timetable for his return to the lineup has not yet been revealed, but as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch pointed out, the Yankees will not be able to replace Hicks on their current playoff roster if they want to retain him for the ALCS.
In the fourth inning, Hicks struck a leadoff single into right field, then pulled up to first base with what appeared to be a right leg injury. After a routine examination by manager Aaron Boone and a team trainer, Hicks left the field and was replaced by pinch-runner Brett Gardner. Didi Gregorius advanced Gardner on another single, but both were left stranded as Boston lefty Chris Sale retired the side with his third and final strikeout of the inning.
This isn’t the first time Hicks has suffered hamstring issues. In late September, the 29-year-old center fielder was laid up for three days with a hamstring strain in his left leg, though he appeared to make a quick and complete recovery several days before the end of the regular season.
Gardner assumed Hicks’ spot in center field at the top of the fifth inning and plated a run in the sixth on Luke Voit‘s RBI single. The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox 5-2 in the seventh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.