ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Things are going from bad to worse for the Yankees offense.
Andrew Benintendi was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with what manager Aaron Boone called a sprained right wrist, with no guarantees the outfielder will be able to return this season.
Benintendi left the game on Friday night after injuring his wrist on a swing. X-rays came back negative and further tests were inconclusive on Saturday.
“We are not sure [the injury] That’s what we thought,” Boone said Saturday before the Yankees lost again to the Rays, 2-1, at Tropicana Field.
When asked if there was a chance that Benintendi would be back this year, Boone replied: “It’s possible. We don’t know what we have yet.
Benintendi had a cast on his wrist on Saturday.
Prior to leaving the game Friday during his stint in the third, Benintendi had been one of the few players to hit for the Yankees.
He started off slow after arriving in a trade from Kansas City in July, but the 28-year-old had settled into the Yankees roster well. He gave them another threat on the left side, in addition to being a contact hitter on a team that hits a lot.
He doubled in his first at bat against the Rays on Friday, going 14 for 41 (.342) with three doubles, two home runs, six runs, seven RBIs and a .925 OPS in his previous 11 games.
Estevan Florial was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ahead of Saturday’s game, with Aaron Hicks taking Benintendi’s place in left field, Aaron Judge returning to center and rookie Oswaldo Cabrera playing right.
Adding to the Yankees’ woes is the fact that they were already playing without first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who received an epidural on Thursday after visiting back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in California.
Boone said Saturday that Rizzo is closed for the weekend and is expected to participate in baseball activities Monday (and possibly Tuesday) in the Bronx before the team decides to put him back in the roster.
Rizzo missed games in July and August with a similar lower back injury. He recently underwent an MRI scan which Boone said encouraged the Yankees.
But it’s hard to be optimistic about the 33-year-old’s status given the constant issues he’s had with his back this season.
Additionally, DJ LeMahieu is playing with a toe injury that has robbed him of most of his offense, Giancarlo Stanton entered just 3 of 26 on Saturday since returning from left Achilles tendonitis and Josh Donaldson, Gleyber Torres and Hicks are all in the midst of long slumps.
At this point, Judge is pretty much the only player left to hit in the roster, which also included Cabrera and fellow rookie Oswald Peraza, who was making his first majors start, filling in at shortstop for Isiah Kiner- Falfa.
“Hopefully he’s another guy who can give us a spark,” Boone said. “We saw that with Cabrera coming up.”
The Yankees entered Saturday having scored three or fewer runs in six of their previous seven games.
“We understand the position we’re in and we have to do better, period,” Boone said. “At the end of the day, what we offer is capable and we have to produce.”