After a collision in left field knocked him out of Game 5, Aaron Hicks underwent an MRI on his left knee and told reporters that his season is over. Hicks estimates that he’ll be out for six weeks.
“I am extremely disappointed,” Hicks said. “This is something special, I wanted to be on the field, fighting with my teammates and being a part of it.”
Hicks left Game 5 of the Yankees’ ALDS series against the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday afternoon in the third inning after a collision with Oswaldo Cabrera and Josh Donaldson trying to catch a shallow fly ball hit by Steven Kwan.
With the Yankees up 4-0 and Nestor Cortes trying to finish the inning, he got Kwan to pop up to shallow left field. Shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera called it off but third baseman Josh Donaldson and Hicks, the left fielder, were already charging toward the line. Cabrera and Hicks collided with the latter going down with an injury. The ball was deflected and Kwan reached on a single to put two on with two out.
Hicks remained on the ground for several minutes while trainers attended to him and he tried to work through the left knee injury. He was clearly in pain as he attempted to go back to the field and was eventually taken out of the game. Hicks walked off of the field on his own, though with a limp. Manager Aaron Boone walked him off with his arm around the outfielder.
He was replaced by Marwin Gonzalez in a straight switch and was sent to New York Presbyterian Hospital to undergo imaging that later revealed his status for the rest of the postseason.
The injury leaves the Yankees down another outfielder, as Andrew Benintendi was already on the shelf. Boone said after Game 5 that he “doesn’t think” Benintendi and his injured wrist will be ready for the ALCS. The skipper also said they will “have a conversation” about playing Giancarlo Stanton in left field, which is much smaller at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
It’s been a rough year for Hicks offensively and defensively. He hit just .216 this year and had several defensive misplays in center field. According to Fangraphs, Hicks cost the Yankees four runs in center field this season and had a -1.4 UZR.
The outfield defense was such a problem for the Yankees that it led to the club acquiring Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline.
The Guardians have blooped the Yankees to death in this series and the pop-ups to left were a particular problem in their Game 3 loss in Cleveland. In Game 4, Hicks jogged to a ball in shallow left field that fell for a single for Jose Ramirez and allowed a run to score, though the Yankees did catch Ramirez off the bag at first base to end the inning and eventually won the game to force Game 5.
Cortes then got himself in a jam by walking former Mets shortstop Amed Rosario to load the bases. Austin Hedges scored on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez to make the score 4-1. Oscar Gonzalez flew out to left field to end the inning.
This time, the catch was made.