Anthony Rizzo’s ‘cranky’ back alters Yankees’ plans

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Anthony Rizzo’s balky back has made its first disruption of the year.

The Yankees first baseman was originally scheduled to make the two-game road trip here on Sunday, but his back was acting up so the Yankees had him stay in Tampa instead.

“His back was a little cranky,” manager Aaron Boone said before taking on the Red Sox at JetBlue Park. “But he’s good. We just decided instead of having him drive down here for these [two games], we’d rather just hold off and play him when we get home. We got that stretch of games. But he’s doing fine.”

The 33-year-old Rizzo played on Thursday against the Red Sox at Steinbrenner Field, but he began feeling something in his back in that game.

Anthony Rizzo playing in a Yankees exhibition game on March 8, 2023.
Anthony Rizzo playing in a Yankees exhibition game on March 8, 2023.

Boone said Rizzo did not need to undergo any testing, but that the Yankees were just trying to stay ahead of any further issues.

“It’s not a big deal,” Boone said. “He’s fine.”

Rizzo, who re-signed on a two-year, $40 million deal this offseason, dealt with back issues on multiple occasions last season.

It came to a head in September when the back tightness necessitated an epidural, which led to complications that landed him on the injured list.

Anthony Rizzo did not make the trip for Sunday's Yankees game as originally planned.
Anthony Rizzo did not make the trip for Sunday’s Yankees game as originally planned.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

He rebounded from that to be one of the Yankees’ best bats during the playoffs.

Upon arriving at spring training last month, Rizzo said he would have to continue managing his back throughout the year, which Boone echoed on Sunday.

“It’s a constant maintenance thing,” Boone said. “There’s always little things he deals with that have at times knocked him out. At times he’s played through it. This would be something that during the season, he’s probably playing through it.”