Slade Heathcott, who has a .353 average with a homer and three RBIs in his 17 at-bats since coming up from Triple-A after Jacoby Ellsbury was put on the disabled list, was put on the 15-day DL on Friday with a Grade II quad strain. The Yankees have called up Ramon Flores to replace him on the roster. Heathcott made four starts and proved to be much better in the outfield than Carlos Beltran.
Heatcott told reporters on Thursday that his quad had been hurting him off an on since the offseason. The former top prospect has had many injuries throughout his minor-league career and this is another one that he will have to overcome. Joe Girardi said that since Ellsbury is on the DL in addition to Heathcott, he will use Brett Gardner more often now going forward. Heathcott had been playing in center field since being called up on May 20.
That Yankees will miss Heathcott’s defense and productive play on offense, but Flores has been playing very well at Triple-A Scranton. Flores, who is 23, has hit .294/.389/.425 with four homers, four doubles and 15 RBIs. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage this season with five outfield assists. The Venezuala native has one or more hits in eight of his last 10 games including four multi-hit games. He was close to being called up even if Heathcott did not get injured.
The Yankees, who lost Thursday night’s series opener to the Athletics in Oakland 5-4, will look to bounce back with Chris Capuano pitching. The pitching matchup is not on the Yankees side as Capuano has a 7.36 ERA in his two starts and Sonny Gray has an American League leading 1.77 ERA in his 10 starts this season. However, the Athletics do have the worst record in the AL.
This is the lineup for tonight’s game against the Athletics at O.co Coliseum:
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Garrett Jones 1B
Stephen Drew 2B
Chris Young CF
Didi Gregorius SS