SEATTLE — Anthony Rizzo was on the field at T-Mobile Park Monday night, but that was hours before the Yankees faced off against the Mariners. The first baseman missed his fourth straight game with the lower-back tightness that had him out of the entire series in St. Louis.
But the Yankees are hopeful he can be back on Tuesday.
“He’s hoping to kind of go through a full day and hopefully be able to tolerate everything and be in position to play tomorrow,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “but we’ll see as the day unfolds, but doing a lot better.”
Rizzo, who turned 33 on Monday, stretched on the field and did some throwing. He was set to hit in the cage as well. It was the second time the lower back went out on Rizzo this season. He missed four games as well in early July with what he said were back spasms that he has dealt with over the last few years of his career. At the time, Rizzo said that it was usually just an annual issue, but he did not indicate he was more concerned because it had popped up twice in a month.
“He wouldn’t have been able to do much but I think at the back end of yesterday, he started to feel like ‘I feel like I can swing the bat.’ So today, he’s in a position to go through everything so he gets through that,” Boone said. “Hopefully we’ll be in a position tomorrow to get him in there.”
The Yankees could use his bat.
Rizzo had been on a hot streak. He homered in four straight games July 29-Aug. 2, but went 0-for-4 in Wednesday’s loss to the Mariners. Overall, the 33-year-old is hitting .227/.347/.511 with an .858 OPS. He’s crushed 27 homers and driven in 66 RBI.
SETTLING DOWN IN SEATTLE
After five straight losses, going 6-9 in their last 15 and 14-18 since July 1, Boone felt the need to get the team together and talk. It was the first time he had the team all together after the trade deadline with Frankie Montas joining them Saturday night in St. Louis.
“This is our group now and we have everything we need in that room,” Boone said he told the players. “We will obviously be getting some guys back in the mix coming off the (injured list) and things like that as we go, but just remind them that we got everything in that room to get through this and realize their goal of being a champion.
“And that’s where the focus lies and is and I feel like they’re in a good place knowing we’re playing some good teams right now and they’re playing for a lot and we get their best shot a lot,” Boone added. “We have to go out and match that.”
INJURY (LIST) UPDATES
Giancarlo Stanton, on the IL with left Achilles tendinitis since July 24, is back on the field rehabbing in New York.
“He was ramping up baseball activities today,” Boone said. “Yesterday was a off day from baseball activities. So I haven’t got the report yet today but expect to be more ramping up the running you know, throwing and hitting everything like that.”
Stanton could be back as soon as this weekend in Boston, but Boone refuses to put a timeline on it.
Luis Severino continued to throw on flat ground. The right-hander who is on the 60-day injured list with a strained lat muscle cannot come off the IL until mid-September, so his rehab is slow and methodical.
Zack Britton, who has been on the IL since the start of the season after having October elbow reconstruction, is scheduled to throw to live hitters in batting practice early this week. It will be the second time he will face hitters since the surgery.