Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks has suffered a setback and has been unable to resume throwing, manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters today. Hicks hit the injured list with a right flexor strain on August 4, and while an MRI this week revealed no new damage to his elbow, “he’s still not quite where he needs to be to start ramping up,” Boone said.
It’s been a tough year for Hicks, who didn’t make his season debut until May 15 due to a back injury. When he has been healthy, Hicks has delivered slightly above-average production (102 wRC+, 103 OPS+) over 255 plate appearances, hitting .235/.325/.443 with 12 home runs, though it represents a notable step down from his .255/.368/.470 performance over the 2017-18 seasons.
Now, it’s possible he might not be able to be back on the field before the end of the regular season, which also puts his availability for New York’s postseason roster in jeopardy. If the worst happens and Hicks’ season is indeed over, it’s worth wondering how this injury-riddled campaign would have impacted Hicks in free agency had he not signed an extension with the Yankees in February. Rather than hit the open market with an injury cloud hanging over him, Hicks has the security of $64MM in guaranteed money through the 2025 season.
Until more is known on Hicks, Brett Gardner will continue to get the bulk of playing time as the Yankees’ regular center fielder, with Mike Tauchman and (if healthy himself) Cameron Maybin also able to handle the position. As has been the story of the Yankees’ season, the club has fared just fine without a key injured player, as Gardner has been on fire (.923 OPS over his last 105 PA) since taking over for Hicks.