[UPDATE: Shin contusion, initial X-Rays negative, per the Yankees]
With two on and one out in the bottom of the third, Hicks took a full cut at a 2-0 cutter inside in an attempt to time Graham Ashcraft’s nasty 97 MPH moving fastball. Instead of popping one to the short porch, though, he mashed the ball directly into his inner shin, collapsing to the ground in a heap before punching the dirt.
A batter slicing a ball into his foot, thigh, or leg at near-full speed isn’t a rare occurrence, but rarely is the pain this immediate.
Nobody wanted the aftermath of the injury to evoke Oakland A’s slugger Jermaine Dye taking himself down in the 2001 ALDS, but Michael Kay’s brain immediately went there as Hicks struggled to stand, then got helped off the field, barely putting weight on the injured leg.
A brutal break for a red-hot Hicks, as all fans wait for an all-important update.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks fouls ball off shin, exits game
The Yankees, shorter on outfielders than usual on a designated Aaron Judge rest day, sent Marwin Gonzalez to the plate and into left field. He promptly struck out; Joey Gallo moved to center.
Already in need of a lefty-swinging outfielder, the Yankees have been in hot pursuit of Andrew Benintendi, but might’ve been ready to pivot to unleashing their top trade chips for a co-ace or relief help. After all, if Hicks planned to heat up all summer long (.273/.385/.534 in his past 30 games), pushing him out of the rotation wasn’t exactly a pressing need. Jettisoning Joey Gallo? Sure, but the team could target depth instead of overpaying for Benintendi or Ian Happ.
Now? It might be time to pursue a hybrid deal with the Cubs for Happ and David Robertson, depending on the severity of Hicks’ issue. Best-case scenario knocks him out for a bit, though.