The Yankees outfield, expected to be the team’s strength headed into this season, is suddenly short on bodies.
Rookie Billy McKinney, called up on the second day of the season when Aaron Hicks went on the disabled list with an intercostal muscle strain, exited Saturday’s game in the first inning after colliding with the outfield wall.
Brett Gardner, initially scheduled for a day off, replaced McKinney in leftfield.
Hicks’s injury already left the Yankees with a suboptimal outfield defense. Aaron Judge started in center on Saturday, making him the tallest centerfielder in MLB history. Gardner is the other option in center, but he has a sub-par arm.
New York was already dipping deeper into its system by bringing up McKinney because Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier are on the disabled list. If McKinney misses any time, first baseman Tyler Austin and second baseman Tyler Wade, who have limited outfield experience, could be options to see more time in the outfield corners.