ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The New York Yankees placed outfielder Andrew Benintendi on the 10-day injured list with right wrist inflammation after he was hurt during Friday's 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the third inning, Benintendi, who had a leadoff double in the first, swung and missed the first pitch of his second at-bat against Rays starter Jeffrey Springs, a 90-mph sinker, and started shaking his right hand vigorously before leaving the game.
Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Benintendi would need further testing after undergoing an MRI that had inconclusive results.
"Right now, it's wrist inflammation," Boone said before the start of Saturday's game at Tropicana Field after being briefed on Benintendi's status. "We have to get some more tests, some more imaging and more opinions to really narrow down exactly what it is. I think there's still some questions there.
"They've got to look at some more things," he continued. "Just not sure where we thought may not be injured, so they've got to get more CT scans. I just got briefed on it a little bit, so I don't really have much for you other than he is going on the IL, but it's a little inconclusive right now exactly what."
Benintendi had 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, Benintendi was hitting .325 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBIs.
Boone explained that the team would not have a timeline on a potential return for Benintendi until they got the results of any additional testing.
"We don't know what we have. I was literally just getting briefed on it so it's tough to know," Boone noted. "[We'll] mix and match [in the outfield]. And hopefully create an opportunity for someone, that someone kind of kicks the door in."
The Yankees recalled outfielder Estevan Florial from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as another option to platoon in the outfield with Aaron Judge, Tim Locastro, Aaron Hicks and rookie Oswaldo Cabrera. Boone said there is still no plan for designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton to return to the outfield, since he was recently activated off the IL after missing over a month with left Achilles tendinitis.
Besides Benintendi's absence, the Yankees will also be without slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo apparently longer than anticipated by Boone.
Boone said Friday that Rizzo had an epidural after being out of the starting lineup Wednesday night due to ongoing back issues. Rizzo saw back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, the spine consultant for most of the Los Angeles professional sports teams, and received an epidural injection on Thursday, an off-day for the Yankees.
"He did have an epidural [Thursday] in California. Really optimistic that this helps him moving forward," said Boone on Friday, the same day Rizzo flew back to New York. "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."
But Boone hedged on a possible return for Rizzo when addressing the injury on Saturday, explaining it may take a few more days of baseball activities before any potential return. "Might be a Monday [or] Tuesday ramp up. We just have to see how these next two days go," he said.
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. The lefty struggled offensively in August, with a .208 batting average and 26 strikeouts in 21 games played, but was doing better at the plate, homering in back-to-back games last Monday and Tuesday to hit the 30-homer mark for the first time since 2017 with the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, right-hander Jameson Taillon, who had to leave his start Tuesday after only two innings due to a right forearm contusion after being hit by a line drive, went through all his throwing and workout program with no issues and is slated to return to his spot in the rotation, likely Monday or Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins.
Starter Nestor Cortes Jr., who is on the IL with a low-level Grade 2 groin strain, threw to live hitters Saturday at the Yankees' Player Development complex in Tampa and bounced back well after his three-inning, 45-pitch outing.
Boone said that the lefty, on the 15-day IL since Aug. 25, is positioned to return to the rotation during the Yankees' upcoming homestand. Cortes might throw a bullpen Monday or Tuesday and that will determine his spot. The Yankees' upcoming seven-game homestand, which starts on Labor Day Monday, includes four games against Minnesota and three more against the Rays.
Starter Luis Severino, who is currently on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain, started ramping up his rehab. Severino threw 40 pitches in his first rehab outing with the Single-A Tampa Tarpons on Friday, 22 pitches on the field during a rain-abbreviated outing, before throwing 18 more in the bullpen. Boone said he expected Severino to bounce back well and to throw in another rehab game in the minors next week. Severino is eligible to come off the IL in mid-September.
The Yankees also announced they signed right-hander Ryan Weber to a major league contract and designated left-hander Anthony Banda for assignment to make room in their 40-man roster.