NEW YORK — The Yankees put outfielder Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list Sunday because of a strained left oblique, less than a month after he missed six weeks because of an injury to his right ribcage.
The move was made before New York’s series finale against AL East-leading Boston. Hicks was hurt Saturday reaching up to make a running catch of Hanley Ramirez’s drive on the center-field warning track and removed from the game. The switch-hitter is batting .265 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs. He was placed on the DL in late June and came back on Aug. 10.
Following a big first half, Hicks has slumped at the plate since returning from injury.
In other news, the Yankees are skipping Jaime Garcia in the rotation and starting rookie Jordan Montgomery in Baltimore on Monday afternoon instead. Both left-handers lost last Wednesday as Cleveland swept a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
With Hicks sidelined again, Jacoby Ellsbury moves back into an everyday role for now. Ellsbury had been relegated to part-time duty despite a $153 million contract that runs through 2020. He was in the lineup Sunday night against Red Sox ace Chris Sale, batting ninth and playing center field.
Ellsbury went into the game hitting .245 with seven home runs, 33 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
Hicks’ injury left the Yankees without a backup outfielder, and manager Joe Girardi said the team had no immediate plans to bring one up from the minors even though major league rosters expanded Friday. New York, which has a slim lead in the AL wild-card race, doesn’t have another healthy player who is primarily an outfielder on its 40-man roster.
“Maybe we will look into some things,” Girardi said.
In an emergency, reserve infielder Ronald Torreyes likely would be used in the outfield, and the club hopes rookie outfielder Clint Frazier is fairly close to returning from the DL.
Frazier plans to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A Trenton. Frazier, a right-handed hitter who could complement the left-handed-hitting Ellsbury, has been out since Aug. 9 with a strained left oblique.
Girardi said the team doesn’t think Hicks’ injury is worse than the previous one, and the hope is that the outfielder can start swinging a bat around Sept. 14, when the Yankees return home from their upcoming road trip.
Montgomery was recalled from the minors Friday. He is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in three outings against the Orioles and 7-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 24 starts overall.
Garcia is 5-9 with a 4.43 ERA in 24 starts combined this year for the Braves, Twins and Yankees — including 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in five games with New York.
Girardi said Garcia will rejoin the rotation next time through. The Yankees plan to use six starters for at least one cycle following Thursday’s off day.
Second baseman Starlin Castro was back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday. Castro lost a front tooth overnight Friday and spent Saturday morning at the dentist’s office as part of a root canal.
New York also recalled left-hander Caleb Smith from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
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