Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are putting slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo on the injured list, according to manager Aaron Boone.

Boone also told YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits that Rizzo’s issue was more related to headaches, not his chronic back spasms. Rizzo missed the Rays series last weekend to stay in California and get an epidural to help with the pain. Ahead of Monday’s game with the Twins, Boone mentioned Rizzo’s headaches were related to the epidural.

The good news is it sounds like Rizzo’s time away will be relatively short. The bad news is the struggling Yankees will have an even tougher time hitting without his presence. Rizzo is batting .225 with 30 home runs and 71 RBI this season and is also a respected clubhouse leader. A 2.5 fWAR doesn’t hurt either.

Adding insult to injury is that Anthony Rizzo was expected back on the field this series. He’s now almost certainly out until the Yankees’ trip to Milwaukee next weekend. In the meantime, he’ll miss important games against Minnesota, the rival Rays, and the Red Sox.


The Yankees will thus hope Ronald Guzman will hope the .823 OPS he posted at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre follows him to the show. The infield is already banged up between this, DJ LeMahieu’s injured big toe, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s countless issues, and Gleyber Torres not hitting offspeed pitches anymore. Losing a strong power bat and team leader is the cherry on top.

Thankfully, the Yankees have won two games in a row and the offense showed small signs of turning around Monday. It’s time to embrace “Next Man Up” and end the season strong despite being shorthanded.

After all, it’s just an opportunity for the slumping Yankees to turn things around and get Rizzo back in a stronger position, and then have some momentum going into October.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.