We’re now on the precipice of September, expanded rosters, and the stretch run to the playoffs. The one constant through this crazy Yankees season has been injuries, and they still have a litany of them as they gear up for the final month. Here’s a rundown of the latest news on the Yankees’ walking wounded as the season heads towards its finish.
Aaron Boone indicated that Voit should rejoin the team this Friday when they return to New York. Voit made four rehab appearances in Triple-A, knocking eight hits in 17 at-bats, including two home runs. It appears the Yankees have fully dodged a bullet with Voit, after some initial fear that the first baseman would require surgery to repair his hernia.
Severino has yet to throw a pitch in the big leagues in 2019, but he appears to be moving closer to making his season debut. Bryan Hoch reported yesterday that Severino threw two innings in a simulated game, and that he feels ready to begin a rehab assignment. That has to be considered excellent news, as the odds of Severino pitching meaningful innings some time next month seem to be increasing.
Just as Severino threw to hitters yesterday, Betances will reportedly participate in a simulated game today. He and Severino appear to be on something of concurrent tracks, working out at the Yankees’ facilities in Tampa and preparing for rehab assignments. If anything, Betances should be able to return to the bigs sooner than Severino, as Betances would not have to be stretched out much to begin working a one-inning relief role.
Encarnacion recently resumed baseball activities and appears on track to return in the coming weeks. He hit in the batting cage before last night’s game, and Boone said he should be back sooner rather than later.
The Yankees’ backup outfielder has struggled recently, and it could be in part to an ailing wrist. Maybin reportedly has had his wrist wrapped in recent days, and Boone stated “His wrist has been a little sore. That’s something that kind of comes and goes with him periodically through the year.” Maybin probably won’t be on the IL any time soon with his wrist problem, but it does sound like something that’s had an impact on him.
Stanton performed a few drills in the field on Monday and launched lasers in batting practice last night. This is some of the best news we’ve seen with regard to Stanton in a long while, as his 2019 campaign has consisted of constant stops and starts on the injury front. Stanton hasn’t played in two full months, and has made just 38 plate appearances on the year.
Hicks hasn’t played since August 3rd after sustaining a right flexor strain. There was some fear Hicks could have damaged his UCL, and the Yankees have used caution with the outfielder to ensure Tommy John surgery wasn’t on the table. He reportedly may begin throwing this week, and hopefully can progress quickly through a rehab program to rejoin the team in early September.
Gregorius suffered a bruise in his right shoulder when he was struck by a Clayton Kershaw fastball Sunday evening. Boone has indicated his condition is improving, and it would be a surprise to see the shortstop sidelined much longer. Count this as one of the Yankees’ few injury scares that was ultimately just a scare.
The young left-hander suffered a setback during his recovery from Tommy John earlier this year, but progressed enough to make a rehab start for High-A Tampa on Sunday, tossing a pair of scoreless frames. Montgomery still stands a chance to return to the Bronx in September, even if for just a brief cameo.
The 28-year-old right-hander has dealt with shoulder issues during his recovery from Tommy John, but returned to the field with Scranton two weeks ago, and has made four appearances since. He’s allowed one run in four innings over that span, striking out five. It looks like Heller could be a relief option in the majors in September.