The Yankees overhauled their strength and conditioning program this past winter, hoping to avoid a repeat of their injury-marred “Next Man Up” storyline from 2019. One month into the 2020 campaign, they are inarguably participating in a sequel.
The club announced on Friday that infielder Gleyber Torres, left-hander James Paxton and left-hander Luis Avilán were all headed to the 10-day injured list after sustaining injuries during Thursday’s 10-5 loss to the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Torres is expected to return in two to three weeks from his Grade 1 left quad and hamstring strains, manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday.
Torres, who stumbled while running to first base on an RBI groundout in the third inning on Thursday, is batting .231/.341/.295 with two doubles, one homer and six RBIs over 24 games in his first full season as the Yanks’ shortstop.
The timeline is less clear for Paxton, who will not throw for 14 days due to a Grade 1 strain of his left forearm flexor, Boone said. There is no decision yet on how the Yankees will fill Paxton’s spot in the rotation, but Boone mentioned Michael King, Nick Nelson and Jonathan Loaisiga as candidates.
Surgery is not thought to be necessary at the moment for Paxton, a positive development considering the left-hander complained of tightness in his elbow and forearm after exiting Thursday’s game. The 31-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.64 ERA in five starts this season. He has exhibited flashes of dominance throughout a career that has seen him post a career record of 57-33 with a 3.58 ERA in 136 starts for the Mariners (2013-18) and Yankees (’19-20), but his career has been pockmarked by numerous injuries. He underwent lower back surgery in February.
Avilán was also sent for an MRI on Thursday, resulting in a diagnosis of left shoulder inflammation. The 31-year-old Avilán has pitched to a 4.32 ERA in 10 appearances after making the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. All of the examinations were performed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.