The Yankees have moved to within a half game of the first place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East while most of their big bats have been on the injured list. Now they’re starting to get some of those bats back. Today New York activated outfielder Aaron Hicks. He will start in center field and bat leadoff against the Orioles.
This will be Hicks’ 2019 debut following a couple of months on the shelf due to back problems. The Yankees are hoping that he will resume his 2018-level production in which he hit .248/.366/.467 (123 OPS+) with 27 homers, 79 RBI and 11 stolen bases. That production earned Hicks a seven-year, $70 million extension this past offseason.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.