It is possible that no Yankee, Aaron Judge included, has been more valuable than the steady Anthony Rizzo this season.
Which made a banged-up Rizzo getting pulled for what the club called “precautionary reasons” Sunday particularly worrisome.
Rizzo is “fine,” manager Aaron Boone said, after the first baseman exited the Yankees’ 10-7 win over the Padres in The Bronx early with a neck scare.
In the sixth inning, Rizzo caught a back-pick throw from Kyle Higashioka and reached down to tag Fernando Tatis Jr., who did not slide back into first.
Tatis was caught off the bag and tried to quick-foot his way to the base. Rizzo applied the inning-ending slap-tag for the out and got tangled with Tatis, whose hip knocked into Rizzo’s head.
Rizzo stumbled for a few steps, took a knee and was on the infield dirt for several minutes.
“He went through all the testing,” Boone said of Rizzo, who did not speak publicly because he was in concussion protocol. “We’ll keep an eye on him.”
The early read from Boone was that Rizzo would be able to play Monday in Seattle.
“He’s a tough guy,” Judge said of Rizzo, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI single and upped his OPS to .881. “He’s going to have the record for the most hit-by-pitches in a couple years, so he can handle a lot.”
Rizzo walked off under his own power and was replaced in the top of the seventh.
Greg Allen entered to play left field, which pushed Isiah Kiner-Falefa to third base, which pushed DJ LeMahieu to first.
“He’s like the toughest guy ever,” Gerrit Cole said of Rizzo.
Jose Trevino (left hamstring strain) was not activated Sunday, the first day the catcher was eligible to be lifted off the 10-day injured list.
Trevino, who is not earmarked for a rehab assignment, will join the club for the trip to Seattle and could be activated as soon as Tuesday, Boone said.
Boone said there are “no plans” to carry three catchers, which likely will mean that Ben Rortvedt, who has played well in five games, gets optioned to Triple-A.
Josh Donaldson (right hamstring strain) will not be heading to Seattle with the team. Donaldson has gone 3-for-9 in three rehab games — including a home run and double Sunday — with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and likely will play another rehab game Tuesday.
Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring strain) could begin his rehab assignment Tuesday, Boone said.
The Yankees have not ruled out Stanton, a Southern California native, returning for a road series against the Dodgers that begins Friday.
“He’s been doing well,” Boone said of Stanton, who won’t play th e outfield for at least the first 10-14 games after he is activated. “He’s in that kind of 90 percent healed [area]. In a lot of ways he’s been feeling ready to go for the last several days.”
Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis) pitched a fourth scoreless inning Sunday, with SWB, in which he struck out three and allowed one hit.
The righty likely will pitch again Tuesday with SWB before he is deemed ready to return.
Carlos Rodon (left forearm strain, back discomfort) will join the Yankees for the road trip and is expected to throw a second bullpen session Monday.
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