Mike Tauchman made his name as one of the most productive members in the Yankees’ “next man up” brigade, helping keep their winning season afloat despite a Major League-record 29 players on the injured list. Now it will be someone else’s turn to carry the load.
Tauchman was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his left calf that will keep him out of action for approximately six to eight weeks, the Yankees announced on Monday. Manager Aaron Boone said that the diagnosis effectively rules the 28-year-old out for the rest of the season.
“I hurt for him,” Boone said. “He’s been such an important player for us. I know he’s a big part of us moving forward, even though obviously it’s not going to be on the playing field for a while. Right now, I’m just bummed for him, but we’ve got to keep moving.”
Tauchman had been receiving treatment to alleviate soreness in his left calf prior to Sunday’s 10-5 win over the Red Sox, though he believed the situation was manageable. Tauchman sustained the strain while fielding Brock Holt’s fourth-inning single to left field, then exited the game.
“I planted coming in on that ball and I felt it grab up on me,” Tauchman said on Sunday. “It felt a little bit like I got kicked, which would be weird because I was the only person in left field.”
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Acquired from the Rockies on March 23, Tauchman slashed .277/.361/.504 with 13 homers across 296 plate appearances (87 games), while also ranking among the Major League leaders in Statcast’s Outs Above Average (OAA) defensive metric.
The Yankees believe they have reinforcements on the way. Giancarlo Stanton continues to log simulated at-bats at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla., and Boone said that Stanton could be ready to play in big league games for the final homestand of the season.
“He’s continuing to do well and things are moving as we’d hope,” Boone said. “Hopefully he’ll be back in the mix with us sometime in the next week.”
Boone added that Clint Frazier, Breyvic Valera and Tyler Wade could see increased playing time as a result of Tauchman’s injury.
“Especially with our roster now and how we’re built up, in the short term, we’re very much covered between Maybin, between Tyler Wade being able to go out there,” Boone said. “Breyvic Valera can go out there and play. When Giancarlo is ready, he’ll be here. We believe that’s getting close, but we won’t speed that up as a result of this.”