Andrew Benintendi to endure Hamate operation

Yankees outfielder Andrew Benintendi broke his hamate bone hook and will require surgery, manager Aaron Boone telling you Bryan Hoch from MLB.com. Benintendi is already on the 10-day injury list, which was placed there yesterday.

The club has yet to give an estimate of a timeframe for Benintendi’s recovery, but it is sure to be significant regardless of the timing. There are more than four weeks left in the regular season schedule, which doesn’t leave much time for outfielders to go through the process of recovering from procedures and getting back into form. Despite their recent slump, the Yankees are still in a strong position to qualify for the playoffs and earn a bye through the first round, as they are five games ahead of the Rays and 10 1/2 ahead of the Guardians who lead in Central. That would give Benintendi more time to return, especially if the Yankees can win a playoff round or two, but it remains unclear if that is on the cards. Hochu relay news from Benintendi himself, who says he will still speak to a few specialists but believes he could return before the end of the regular season.

Acquired from the Royals before the deadline, Benintendi has reached .302/.371/.397 in the year between the two teams. That offensive production is 22% better than the league’s hitter average this year, as evidenced by his 122 wRC+. That solid campaign was put on hold Friday night, as Benintendi left with clear pain after injuring himself on the swing.

In recent games without Benintendi, the Yanks have used the outfield of Judge Aaron, Oswaldo Cabrera and Aaron Hickswith other options like Estevan Floral, Marwin Gonzalez and Team Locastro on the bench. Harrison Bader and Matt Carpenter could join a club on the phone, but nothing very close. Bader, obtained from the Cardinals on the trade deadline, was heading towards rehab duties. Carpenter went to IL a few weeks ago with a broken leg and is still hoping to return at some point. But in the short term, internal options may have to be exercised.

The Yankees seem to be walking away with AL East for most of the year, leading by as much as 15 1/2 games in July. Poor form in recent weeks lowered their lead to four games to come today, although they beat the Rays to extend it to five. That means the final weeks of the season are going to be far more important than they seemed not so long ago.

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