Yankees’ Juan Soto leaves game with forearm discomfort: ‘Everyone is a little concerned’

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NEW YORK — New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto left Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Twins after the fifth inning because of left forearm discomfort, the team announced. When Soto was pulled, the Yankees and Twins were in a rain delay that lasted 56 minutes.

Soto told reporters he’s been experiencing discomfort for roughly a week and a half to two weeks and has “just been grinding through it.” He added that his forearm hasn’t hurt while throwing or swinging. The Yankees’ training staff, team doctor Christopher Ahmad and Soto decided it was not worth the risk of warming up again during the rain delay because of the soreness, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Soto said he will undergo imaging Friday to determine whether a deeper injury is present.

“It’s more like soreness that I feel with any kind of move that I make with my arm,” Soto said. “It definitely doesn’t stop me from anything baseball-wise or in the field.”

The 25-year-old said there wasn’t a specific moment in Thursday’s 8-5 win that caused the discomfort to flare up. He also said there wasn’t an initial moment that caused the injury.

“I woke up one day and felt the tightness and discomfort on my forearm,” Soto said. “We’ve been working on it, and we’ve been trying to get away with it, and it hasn’t gone up.”

Boone said he didn’t know yet if this will keep Soto out for any amount of time, and the Yankees likely won’t have any sense of the severity of the injury until Friday’s imaging. But some anxiety is hanging over the Yankees because Soto is one of the iron men in Major League Baseball. He played all 162 games last season and hasn’t missed a game this year. He prides himself on playing every single inning of every single game.

“You take a player of Juan’s caliber out of the game, there’s always concern about that,” Boone said. “Also, hoping that we’re being cautious here.”

If Soto misses time, the obvious possible replacement on the 26-man roster is top prospect Jasson Domínguez, who’s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Domínguez played seven innings in Thursday’s Triple-A game before getting pulled for the night; the decision to pull him early was scheduled and unrelated to Soto’s injury. Since Domínguez started rehab, he has posted a .978 OPS in 62 minor-league at-bats. Thursday was also just the fifth time Domínguez has played the field.

With the Yankees welcoming the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Bronx on Friday, the highly anticipated series might not feature one of MLB’s best players as the team awaits the results of Soto’s imaging.

“Yeah, I think everyone is a little concerned,” Yankees starter Marcus Stroman said. “Hopefully he’s all right. I’m going to try to put all of the good energy in the world. I think he’ll be back.”

(Photo: Vincent Carchietta / USA Today)

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