The Yankees’ best speed threat has been sidelined.
Outfielder Tim Locastro went on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a left latissimus dorsi (back) strain that could keep him out “at least a couple weeks,” according to manager Aaron Boone.
Locastro sustained the injury stealing a base last Monday against the Blue Jays. He initially thought it was just a cramp, and he was still an active player the last time the Yankees played on Wednesday, but he eventually started losing his range of motion because of the injury.
While Locastro was hopeful to only miss the minimum 10 days on the injured list, Boone indicated it would be longer than that with the Yankees wanting to be cautious.
“It’s something just with the lat, we feel like if he plays and hurts it any more, it can turn into a surgical thing where we lose him for the season,” Boone said before the doubleheader. “So it’s something we’re trying to get out ahead of with him. We’ll see. We’ll keep him going a little bit and hopefully it’s not more than a few weeks. But it’s probably impossible to tell at this point.”
The Yankees called up outfielder Estevan Florial as the 27th man for Sunday’s doubleheader against the Rangers, though he is expected to return to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the twin bill. Instead, the Yankees will likely carry an extra pitcher as they start a stretch of 23 games in 22 days, with reliever Ron Marinaccio also getting called up on Sunday to take Locastro’s roster spot.
Locastro, who is 4-for-5 in stolen bases, said he is encouraged by how he feels in the training room while working on regaining his range of motion. He has stopped hitting but is still able to throw and run to keep his arm and legs loose.
“I’m able to do a lot of stuff but just not at 100 percent yet,” Locastro said. “So hopefully these 10 days will help.”
Florial, who was 8-for-9 in stolen bases this year at Triple-A, started Game 2 in center field.
The Yankees used Thursday’s off day and back-to-back rainouts on Friday and Saturday to rearrange their rotation.
Luis Severino was pushed back to Tuesday, with lefty Jordan Montgomery leapfrogging him to start the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader after Gerrit Cole got Game 1. Lefty Nestor Cortes was also moved up to start Monday’s series finale against the left-handed heavy Rangers before right-handers Severino and Jameson Taillon (Wednesday) start the two games against the right-handed heavy Blue Jays.
With Severino having thrown only 18 innings over the past three seasons because of injuries, Boone said the Yankees will find spots to give him extra rest. Severino said he was feeling healthy.
The Yankees will need a sixth starter on Thursday against the White Sox. Boone said they will likely call up that starter instead of taking Michael King out of the bullpen. Clarke Schmidt, who started Saturday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, would be on normal rest to start Thursday.