Aaron Hicks revealed Sunday his sore back will cause him to miss Opening Day and begin the season on the Injured List.
But Hicks' injury has left manager Aaron Boone and Yankees management with a conundrum regarding the entire construction of the roster.
Several factors will play into who ultimately sees the bulk of reps in Hicks' absence, including how many pitchers the team decides to roster on Opening Day and whether Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade are worthy of possibly seeing significant playing time in the outfield, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
"I guess there are a few different options. I will leave it to you guys to speculate because we haven't made any decisions,'' Boone said. "For us, it is to evaluate and make the best decisions. We don't think it's going to be a long time for Hicks but that will factor into it. How many pitchers we go with and how long we will be without. Those will be conversations that we will have."
The decision may also have implications in the Luke Voit-Greg Bird battle for first base. Both are hitting well this spring, but if the Yankees need to take an extra outfielder, it may impact one of their chances of breaking camp with the club.
An interesting option to replace Hicks, who received a second cortisone shot Sunday, would be Wade. Though he's a natural infielder, he has taken reps in the outfield during spring training. On Sunday, he started in center field in one of the Yankees' split-squad games.
"We will get him more reps in the outfield this week,'' Boone said. "He has played a fair amount of outfield already. I would say this week and with [Estevan Florial] going down he will get more of his reps in the outfield, more so than we originally planned.''