The Yankees got yet another injury scare in the nightcap of their doubleheader against the Mets on Sunday, when Aaron Hicks left the 5-2, eight-inning win in the top of the fifth with cramping in both calves.
Hicks felt the cramps after he fouled off a 3-1 pitch from Chasen Shreve. After a visit from manager Aaron Boone and the training staff, Hicks continued the at-bat and took the next pitch for ball four. He trotted to first, but was replaced there by pinch-runner Brett Gardner.
“I don’t think it’s serious at all,’’ Boone said.
Hicks said he was “fine” and expects to be in the lineup Monday against Tampa Bay.
Earlier in the day, Hicks hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh in the Yankees’ 8-7, eight-inning comeback win in The Bronx.
The Yankees are already without Aaron Judge (calf) and Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring). Hicks has a long injury history. An already depleted outfield could hardly afford another loss.
Stanton has been out for three weeks and is still “not all the way out of the woods yet” in his recovery, according to Boone.
“He’s going through progressions,’’ Boone said of Stanton, who had a light rehab day Sunday. “He’s running about 75-80 percent. … We just want to make sure we get him to the finish line with the injury.”
Stanton last played on Aug. 8. He’s on the injured list along with Judge and there’s no telling when either outfielder might be ready to return with less than a month remaining in the regular season.
Zack Britton (hamstring) threw a bullpen session Sunday and Boone believes he’ll be back soon. The left-hander was able to sprint off the mound during PFP drills and Boone said he is expected back “this week.”
“He’s such an important piece to what we try to do around here all the time,’’ Boone said.
The Yankees have seen high-end relievers Chad Green, Adam Ottavino and Aroldis Chapman all surrender game-altering homers in recent days.
“We understand there’s gonna be pitfalls along the way,’’ Boone said. “Even in the most successful seasons a great reliever is gonna give up a game we have. We’re equipped to handle that. … Nothing really changes with the confidence we have in these guys. We look forward to them continuing to go out there and do their job the next time they get the opportunity.”
Gio Urshela had the game-winning single in Sunday’s opener after not playing since Wednesday with a bone spur in his elbow. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth. Boone said Urshela felt discomfort in the elbow on a swing in his final at-bat in Atlanta on Wednesday, but the spur may have been there for a while.
“It was almost like a hyperextension, but the symptoms have dissipated a lot the last couple of days,” Boone said. “It doesn’t seem to be a real concern at this point. We feel like it’s fine.”
Gleyber Torres (hamstring) also was doing drills pregame.
Boone said Kyle Higashioka (oblique) is expected to rejoin the team in the “next couple of days.” Asked if the Yankees would then carry three catchers, Boone said, “We’ll see.”
They would risk losing Erik Kratz if they optioned him.
With the A’s-Astros game postponed Sunday due to a COVID case with Oakland, Boone said he remains “hopeful” MLB will finish the season.
“We’ve got to contain it on a large scale,’’ Boone said. “We haven’t had any cases going back to [Chapman] in summer camp [but] you can see [how] one positive test from another team playing another team changes your week and schedule in a hurry.”
Gerrit Cole will start Monday against Tampa Bay, setting up the rotation against the Rays, followed by Masahiro Tanaka and Jordan Montgomery. J.A. Happ will start Thursday’s makeup game against the Mets at Citi Field.