NEW YORK — — Injuries keep piling up for the New York Yankees at the wrong time.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo heads to the 10-day disabled list, the latest health-related setback for a banged-up team trying to hold on to first place in the AL East.
Rizzo is hampered by headaches that the Yankees believe are related to an epidural injection he received for back pain. He was expected to resume baseball activities Monday and then Wednesday, before the club decided Tuesday to place him on the disabled list. The movement of the list will be made on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’s a back thing right now,” manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game against Minnesota was postponed due to rain.
“I think they are trying to understand why exactly it is happening,” he added. “Once he gets up and moves, he can’t do much.”
Ronald Guzmán will be called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help replace Rizzo at first base, who is hitting .225 with 30 homers, 71 RBIs and an .832 OPS.
Guzman, 27, is a career .227 hitter with 31 home runs in 243 major league games with Texas between 2018 and 2021. He hit three home runs in one game at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 10, 2018.
The lefty Guzman was hitting .260 in Triple-A with 12 home runs, 39 RBIs and an .823 OPS.
“He made a big impression on me in spring training. I really liked what I saw,” Boone said. “And then the reports have been that really for about a month and a half now he’s been hitting really well. It’s hurt us over the years in little bursts.”
Rizzo is far from the only struggling major player for the Yankees, who started the day five games ahead of Tampa Bay and 5 1/2 ahead of Toronto after leading the AL East by 15 1/2 games on Saturday. July 8.
Boone said slugger Giancarlo Stanton (left foot) and infielder DJ LeMahieu (toe) weren’t going to play Tuesday if the game hadn’t been rained out.
Stanton fouled with a ball at the foot in Monday’s 5-2 win over the Twins and then left the game. He was feeling better Tuesday, according to Boone, but the manager said neither Stanton nor LeMahieu will likely play Wednesday.
Left fielder Andrew Benintendi had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his right wrist. Benintendi was injured on a swing Friday night, but the Yankees have said it’s possible he could play again this year.
“For three or four months we were quite healthy. We’ve taken our toll in the injury department here lately with obviously some key guys, but that’s part of it. And the opportunity calls out to other guys to have a chance to step up and impact us as we try to get guys good and good,” Boone said.
“I think there are also some hopeful signs on the horizon that we’re going to get a number of these key guys back in the mix, either in days, weeks, or hopefully by the end of the year.”
Right-hander Luis Severino, out since mid-July with a wing strain, is scheduled to begin his rehab Wednesday for Double-A Somerset. He’s expected to throw around 50-55 pitches and then either rejoin the Yankees or have one more minor league tune-up before he returns.
Severino is on the 60-day disabled list and cannot be reinstated until Monday.
“I definitely feel like he can make an impact right away,” Boone said. “We’ll see. We’ll make that call.
Tuesday’s game will pick up on Wednesday as part of a single-inning doubleheader beginning at 3:05 p.m. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.28 ERA) was pushed back a day until Wednesday’s night cup . Domingo Germán (2-3, 3.12) will pitch New York’s first game.
Cole allowed a career-high five home runs in 2 1/3 innings on June 9 at Minnesota.
The Twins plan to call up local kid Louie Varland to start the first game in his major league debut. The 24-year-old right-hander was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he attended Concordia University before being selected by his hometown team in the 15th round of the 2019 amateur draft.
Varland is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings in four starts for Triple-A St. Paul. He went 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 19 starts and one relief start for Double-A Wichita this season.
Right-hander Joe Ryan (10-7, 3.88 ERA), who was scheduled to start Tuesday, is participating in Game 2.
Minnesota entered the day one game behind Cleveland, the leader in the American League Central Division. The Guardians later played in Kansas City.