The first roster move of the season did not have to wait very long to happen. The Yankees Public Relations Department (@YankeesPR) tweeted out the following news earlier today “Roster Move: Prior to tonight’s game, OF Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain and OF Billy McKinney was recalled from [Triple-A affiliate] SWB Railriders.”
Hicks, the everyday starting center fielder, had a good opening day going 2 for 4 in the Yankees’ 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. McKinney will be making his Major League debut on this stint in the majors. Hicks is no stranger to injury, only appearing in 88 games last season for the Yankees. It is unclear when the injury occurred.
Last season in both Double-A Trenton and Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, McKinney combined for .277/.338/.483 with 16 home runs and 64 RBI in 124 games. He is currently ranked 19th among Yankees prospects.
McKinney had himself a very good spring with power, leading the team with five homers and 13 RBI, but only batted .167/.340/.524.
The Yankees could look to move veteran outfielder Brett Gardner back to center and put Giancarlo Stanton in left. They could also use McKinney and Gardner in the outfield together to patrol left and center. There are definitely decisions to be made by rookie manager Aaron Boone. It is incredible to think that with all the depth the Yankees came in to Spring Training with, that the outfield would be a question mark this early.
Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury are both also on the disabled list retroactive to March 26. Frazier is on the seven-day concussion DL while Ellsbury is on the 10-day. GM Brian Cashman has said that Ellsbury would require 40-50 rehab at-bats before he is activated off the DL.