TORONTO — The New York Yankees have put Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right ribcage in the latest injury to one of their outfielders.
The Yankees made the move Friday, a day after Hicks got two hits in a season-opening 6-1 win at Toronto. Hicks, who played the entire game, felt soreness between his third and fourth at bats, general manager Brian Cashman said.
Outfielder Billy McKinney was promoted from Triple-A to take the roster spot of Hicks. The 23-year-old McKinney was set to make his major league debut against Toronto on Friday night, batting seventh and starting in left field.
“We feel really good about him defensively wherever we put him, left or right field,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Hicks was limited to 88 games last season because of injuries to his core. He hit .266 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs while primarily playing center field.
“He’s such an important player,” Boone said. “Hopefully it’s a short term thing. If you’re going to be as good a team as we hope to be, you’ve got to be able to withstand some blows here and there.”
Hicks, who will be shut down for three days, said he was disappointed to be sidelined so early in the season by a similar injury to those he suffered in 2017.
“It’s frustrating after spending the offseason trying to prevent something like this,” he said.
New York is already without outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, out with an oblique injury, and Clint Frazier, who’s recovering from a concussion.
Cashman said the Yankees will try to accelerate Ellsbury’s return. Ellsbury is eligible to come off the DL on April 5.
Boone said new slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who homered twice as the designated hitter in his Yankees debut Thursday, could play both left and right field in the final two games of New York’s season-opening series in Toronto. He also said Aaron Judge could see some action in center while Hicks is out.
The Yankees could move Brett Gardner from left field to center, and put DH Giancarlo Stanton in left. Stanton was a full-time right fielder in Miami before getting traded in December, and the reigning NL MVP got off to a rough defensive start in spring training when he played left.