New York Yankees' Andrew Benintendi to have MRI after injuring right wrist, out of lineup Saturday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The New York Yankees' injury woes continued Friday night as Andrew Benintendi was taken out of the 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the third inning because of a right wrist injury.

X-rays on Benintendi's wrist were negative, and he was set to undergo an MRI on Saturday. Benintendi was not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Rays.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Friday that Benintendi felt something "popped" in his wrist.

"He's got some numbness in his fingers right now," Boone said. "So we'll have to get all the MRIs and stuff tomorrow, which will tell us more. But yeah, right now just unfortunate, obviously, for him to have that happen, and hope for the best tomorrow."

Benintendi, who had a leadoff double in the first inning, swung and missed at the first pitch of his second at-bat against Rays starter Jeffrey Springs, a 90 mph sinker, and started shaking his right hand vigorously.

Boone and Yankees head athletic trainer Tim Lentych immediately walked over to the plate and accompanied Benintendi back to the dugout. Benintendi, who was batting third, was replaced in left field by rookie Oswaldo Cabrera.

Benintendi struggled in his first couple of weeks since being acquired from the Kansas City Royals, with a .206 batting average and zero home runs in his first 18 games in pinstripes, but he had been one of the few Yankees hitters swinging a hot bat as of late. In his 10 previous games entering Friday night, he was hitting .325 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.

"Obviously, a big [loss]," Boone said. "Obviously, an important guy in our lineup right now, especially as we struggle as much as we are right now offensively. Benny has been hitting the ball really well. So we're hoping the best for him tomorrow."

The injury takes another left-handed bat out of the Yankees lineup, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo on the shelf due to lower-back tightness.

Boone announced Friday that Rizzo had an epidural after being out of the starting lineup Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels due to ongoing back issues. Rizzo saw back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, the spine consultant for most of the Los Angeles professional sports teams, including the Dodgers, Lakers and Clippers, to receive the epidural injection Thursday, an off-day for the Yankees.

"He did have an epidural yesterday in California, flew back today. Really optimistic that this is going to do the trick and be what helps him moving forward," Boone said. "He had an MRI a couple of weeks ago that gave Anthony and us a lot of peace of mind in that it actually came back better than where he was in spring training. There's a lot of optimism that these shots will do the trick, as far as getting the pain out of there. Hopefully, as we get ready to start the homestand, he'll be ready to go."

Rizzo missed four games July 5-8 while dealing with lower-back tightness, which also led him to miss five games in early August. Rizzo has described this type of injury, a recurring issue in his career, as a back spasm. Rizzo struggled offensively in August, with a .208 batting average and 26 strikeouts in 21 games played, but he homered in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday to hit the 30-homer plateau for the first time since 2017 with the Chicago Cubs.

Boone said the Yankees are still not expecting to put Rizzo on the injured list, for now, and was hopeful to have him back in the lineup during their upcoming seven-game home stand, which starts Monday against the Minnesota Twins.

"The hope is he's flying to New York now. He'll rehab there tomorrow and Sunday. Hopefully, full baseball activity on Monday. And if that goes well, he'll be in there Tuesday," Boone said. "I think they feel good long-term based on the MRI, but this is something that should give him a lot of relief the rest of the season."