Yankees Add Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar to a Crowded Injury List


A rough start to the 2019 season got significantly worse for the Yankees on Monday. In a surprising announcement in the morning, the already-bruised Yankees placed their star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list with a left biceps strain. Then, 30 minutes before the start of a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night, the team announced that third baseman Miguel Andujar had joined the list with a right shoulder injury that might require a season-ending operation.

Stanton, a crucial power hitter, and Andujar, the American League rookie of the year runner-up last season, exhibited no obvious signs of injury during a season-opening series loss to the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

Andujar, 24, hurt his shoulder while sliding back into third base in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 7-5 loss to the Orioles. But he finished the game, reporting no problems. Scheduled to be off on Monday, he visited the trainer’s room to have the shoulder checked and then was sent for a magnetic resonance imaging exam, which revealed a torn labrum.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said the team would try therapy for Andujar and then re-evaluate his shoulder in a couple of weeks to see if surgery seemed necessary.

“His physical test with the doctor is really good, so there is some optimism that, treated conservatively, he can respond and come back and play,” Boone said. “But we’ll know that in a couple weeks.”

In his absence, the Yankees will lean on D.J. LeMahieu at third base, and they have called up the utility man Tyler Wade from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The list of key Yankees who are either injured or still returning from injury now contains eight players: Stanton, Andujar, shortstop Didi Gregorius, outfielders Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury, and pitchers Dellin Betances, C. C. Sabathia and Luis Severino. In that group, there are a combined 17 All-Star appearances, one Cy Young Award winner (Sabathia) and one most valuable player (Stanton).

“It’s unfortunate right now,” Stanton said before the game, “but I guess it’s better to be in the beginning than at the end of the year.”

Stanton, 29, played every inning of the Orioles series in left field and was 2 for 8 at the plate with four strikeouts and seven walks. He later revealed that he felt discomfort while swinging during a third-inning at-bat on the chilly Sunday evening.

He considered alerting Yankees coaches but instead chalked it up to a cramp. When the tightness in his arm persisted after the game and he started thinking it had affected the quickness of his swing, Stanton informed the team.

A magnetic resonance imaging examination revealed a Grade 1 strain — the mildest on a scale of three — so Stanton will be shut down for 10 days and, according to Boone, could return at any point this month.

“I don’t like it at all,” Stanton said. “Just worked for six weeks to get here, plus the off-season. I’d much rather this would’ve popped in spring training. But that’s where we’re at. I don’t have to start from scratch when I come back.”

Still, as the injuries have piled up during spring training and in the early days of the season, the Yankees’ depth has been getting a stiff early test.

“People asked me all spring how I like the team, and I tell people I love the team not just because of the guys we have in the room but the depth that we have,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “Obviously we’re not expecting to get that depth tested this early on, but here we are April 1 and already making moves. Guys will just have to step up and get the job done.”

Against the Tigers, the remaining Yankees provided victory. Domingo German, a rotation fill-in, provided five stout innings while catcher Gary Sanchez and Gardner each homered.

Betances may be among the first of the injured Yankees to return this month, as Boone said he was progressing well after shoulder inflammation late in spring training. Sabathia, who is serving a five-game suspension stemming from an episode in which he threw at Tampa Bay’s Jesus Sucre in a game last fall, is also expected back this month. Once his suspension ends, Sabathia will move to the I.L. since he is a few weeks behind his fellow starting pitchers because of off-season operations on his heart and knee.

Severino is expected back from a shoulder injury in May, and Gregorius is expected to return from Tommy John surgery sometime during the summer. It is unclear when Ellsbury, who missed all of the 2018 season and was originally expected to be ready for spring training, could be ready for the major leagues since he is still recovering from hip surgery last year and a flare-up of a foot ailment.

Hicks’s nagging back injury has improved recently, but it required two cortisone shots. He has been out since March 1 and has not yet resumed baseball activities. “I don’t think it’s going to be deep into the season by any means, but he’s still got some weeks to go,” Boone said.

The Yankees once had six outfielders on the roster, but now three are on the I.L. Their outfield options now consist of Aaron Judge; Clint Frazier, who was also called up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday; Michael Tauchman, who was acquired in a trade just before the season began; and Gardner.

Boone said Frazier would play frequently in Stanton’s absence. Frazier, once a top prospect who missed most of last season with a concussion, has hit .238 in limited opportunities in the major leagues over the past two years but made improvements to his swing this spring.



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