Aaron Hicks to have precautionary MRI on left hamstring

Yankees outfielder left Monday's game with tight hammy

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks will undergo a precautionary MRI after being removed from Monday's game against the Rays with a tight left hamstring, but he is considered day-to-day as of Monday night.

"He'll be examined more tomorrow, but hopefully it's not anything serious that will keep him down too long," manager Aaron Boone said after the game, a 4-1 Yankees win. "We'll see what it looks like tomorrow, and how sore he is, or not, and we'll kind of go day-by-day."

Initial thoughts were that Hicks may have tweaked something, perhaps the ankle he fouled a ball off of on Saturday, when he beat out a potential double play ball in the third inning. He remained in the game to run the bases, though, and also played defense in that inning, but when the Yankees came out for the bottom of the fourth, Brett Gardner took over in center field.

"We saw him kind of stretching it out in the outfield, and we were a little concerned," Boone said. "He wanted to stay in, but that's not something I wanted to roll the dice with."

As the game went to the sixth, the Yankees announced that Hicks' exit was due to the hamstring issue, one it turns out has been plaguing the outfielder for a few days.

"It's been nagging, kind of tight for the last few days," Hicks revealed. "Today they finally asked me what was going on, and I told them it was tight."

That may somewhat of a sigh of relief for some, as immediate concern following Hicks' exit the foul ball off his ankle on Saturday. He did stay in that game, though - hitting a walk-off, playoff berth-clinching double moments later - and, after not starting Sunday's game, entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and played center field for two defensive innings.

Hicks wanted to continue on Monday night, too.

"I could definitely play through it, but Booney and Stevie (Donohue, the Yankees' head trainer) wanted to get me out and take care of it now," Hicks said. "I'm not concerned about it at all, maybe just need a day or two and I'll be back on the field."

With now just six games left in the regular season, losing Hicks for any length of time would be another blow to a seemingly perpetually banged-up Yankees lineup, which is also now without Didi Gregorius for an indeterminate amount of time after he tore cartilage in his right wrist sliding into home plate to score the winning run on Saturday.

"It is what it is when things like this happen, but you have to be able to roll with it," Boone noted. "Like I said, hopefully it's something that won't keep (Hicks) down too long."

Gardner, meanwhile, ended up playing a huge role in Monday's game after replacing Hicks; he drove in the nominal game-winning run with an RBI single in the fifth, later scored on Giancarlo Stanton's double, and made a spectacular catch at the wall in the sixth inning to rob a likely game-tying extra-base hit.