When Aaron Hicks left Game 1 with a hamstring injury, the Yankees feared he was done for the ALDS. Evidently, that’s not necessarily the case.
Brett Gardner is going to start Game 2 for the Yankees, but Aaron Hicks may not be done for the series. Initial reports from the team claim that his MRI did not reveal any visible damage to his hamstring.
As such, Hicks is going to remain an option for Aaron Boone for the foreseeable future. He’ll be on the Yankees bench tonight, but don’t expect to see him unless there’s an emergency. The more rest the team can give Hicks, the better his chances will be to return as a productive player.
It may not be a huge boost for the Yankees, but they’ll certainly take the good news. The odds certainly favored Hicks missing the rest of the series when he limped off the field last night. The knowledge that he’s in contention to play again when the series returns to New York will give his team an emotional boost.
Whether or not he’ll get a meaningful opportunity to help his team win the series remains to be seen. The Yankees face a must-win game tonight. Losing to the Red Sox would force Boone’s squad to return to the Big Apple needing to beat Boston three times in a row to advance. That’s not impossible with a team with the Yankees talent level, but it’s certainly a challenge Boone and company would rather avoid.
The really interesting question is what Boone will do if Gardner plays a good game on Saturday night. It was a tough choice to leave the team’s longest-tenured player out of the starting lineup to begin the ALDS. Putting him on the bench after a productive game against Boston might be a bigger risk than Boone is willing to take.
Hicks has been an important part of the Yankees’ success this season, and everyone in the organization will be encouraged by the news about his injured hamstring. He’ll now face a race against time to help his team win more games this postseason.