Yankees 1B/OF Tyler Austin has a small fracture in his left foot and will likely be out for at least six weeks, manager Joe Girardi said on Friday.
Austin, whose foot willl be in a boot for three weeks, suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his foot during batting practice a few days ago.
"He was fighting for that first-base spot," Girardi told reporters Friday. "It's unfortunate."
The 25-year-old Austin hit .241 with a .300 OBP and .458 SLG with five HR and 12 RBI in 31 games for the Yankees in 2016, during what was his rookie season.
He had been expected to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
The Yankees have Greg Bird and Chris Carter in camp, with both expected to get time at first base during the season.
Austin is not the only Yankee with an injury issue, as outfielder Mason Williams is dealing with inflammation of his left patella tendon and is expected to miss at least two weeks.
Before everyone jumps up to say, "That's why you sign Chris Carter," hold up for a New York minute.
Carter was signed to be the right-handed complement to Greg Bird, or be the starting first baseman if Bird's right shoulder was deemed unhealthy. In my opinion, the competition no longer extended to Austin once the Yankees signed Carter. Austin was the depth.
Now, if Bird or Carter succumb to injury the Yankees will be pushed further into the depth chart for a replacement, or it would potentially force designated hitter Matt Holliday into some time at first base.
For Austin, this truly stinks after finding his stride in 2016, but in my opinion he was heading to Triple-A regardless of the way this spring went. Austin was also third in line for the right field job based on who the Yankees want there (Aaron Judge) and their affection for Aaron Hicks.