PITTSBURGH — Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup Wednesday, the second straight game he missed with “lower back stiffness.” The Yankees first baseman was receiving treatment ahead of Wednesday’s final against the Pirates at PNC Park and was unavailable to speak.
“He is better today. So we’ll see,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Again, it’s kind of something he’s talked about, he’s had, it seems once a year, where it’s just this day-to-day thing. He’s had some improvements today. today but obviously not good enough to be there but hopefully keep improving with rehab and the things he’s doing there today and we’ll see where we are at game time and then obviously tomorrow and over the weekend.
Rizzo, 32, has a history of back problems dating back to his time with the Cubs.
Boone said it wasn’t a play or a swing, it just popped into his head on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Boone said Rizzo was walking straighter.
“I would say he’s definitely better, definitely improved,” Boone said. “He was like an optical illusion yesterday when I saw him. He was a bit twisted, so I think he’s definitely better.
Rizzo was not scheduled for baseball activities on Wednesday. He didn’t have any tests on his back.
The first baseman has been integral to the Yankees’ success this season. Rizzo cuts .223/.336/.507 with a .844 OPS. He is one of three Yankees hitters with at least 20 home runs. He has slugged 22 times in 77 games this season and made 52 runs.