Early indications are that Gleyber Torres will be fine, but any setback will be significant for the Yankees’ most consistent, healthy hitter this season.
Torres was pulled in the lower back in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 8-5 win over the Royals in The Bronx with what the club called left hip tightness.
There were no immediate plans to send Torres to trial.
“I saw him after the game [the clubhouse], and he said it looks better than ever,” manager Aaron Boone reported. “But I haven’t received the instructor’s report on it.”
Boone did not know when Torres first felt the tightness, although in the third inning second baseman Bobby Witt Jr. grounded out. Grounder, and threw to first (too late) heading to shortstop.
After the game, Torres sat for a few moments.
By the seventh inning, Anthony Volpe pinch-hit for Torres on what began as a rest day for the regular shortstop.
Torres went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in the first inning, his 16th of the season—behind only Aaron Judge (19) among Yankees.
While Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the Yankees’ lineup have suffered prolonged slumps, Torres has been the club’s most consistent hitter.
His .769 OPS is best on the team among qualified hitters, and he batted second Sunday.
Game 100 was supposed to be Volpe’s debut, but it didn’t work out that way.
Volpe’s downgrade means he will still play in every game this season.
Oswald Peraza started at shortstop amid a prolonged slump for New Jersey.
Volpe is 5 of 44 (.114) in his last 13 games, his OPS having dropped to .657.
Boone said he didn’t think Volpe was physically fatigued, but Peraza’s recent promotion gave him an opportunity to get some respite — or at least a few innings.
“I’ve been mindful of [Volpe’s workload]Boone said. “I feel like physically, he’s been in really good shape all year, but it’s tough to get him out there.”
Jonathan Loisiga, shortly after the trade deadline It would turn out to be a timely addition for a club that has missed him.
The bullpen isn’t the Yankees’ problem, but the relievers have shown signs of being weak.
The biggest strength for the Yankees in the first three months of the season has been a surprising weakness in July.
The Yankees entered this month’s Sunday afternoon game against the Royals with a 4.95 bullpen ERA, which was 11th worst in baseball over the span.
If most of the bullpen’s arms are tired, Loisiga’s arms should be fresh. The veteran player has been out since April 5 with what was initially diagnosed as elbow swelling.
In May he had a bone spur removed in his right elbow.
Loisiga returns to the mound and throws a 16-pitch simulated game against Aaron Judge On Sunday, the umpire was not allowed to put the ball in play.
Boone said, “I thought Lou looked great.” “It’s really encouraging to see Lo, command- and stuff-wise – it looked like Lo was almost there in the playoffs. It was really encouraging.”
Loisiga said he threw everything – the four-seamer, sinker, slider and changeup – and felt “really good”.
“I feel like I have strength in my arm. Feel healthy, Loisiga said through interpreter Marlon Abreu. “Looking forward to getting back and helping the team.”
The 28-year-old is expected to fly to Tampa and play another sim game on Wednesday that should include two projected innings, Boone said.
He will probably start the rehabilitation work at the end of next week.
Loisiga struggled last season, but he’s rediscovered his stuff and returned to the shutdown reliever he’s usually been for the Yankees.
Boone said, “We know what we have out there.”
The Yankees activated outfielders Jake Bowers and Greg Allen from the 10-day injured list and optioned outfielder Franchi Cordero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Osvaldo Cabrera was sent down on Saturday night.
On July 5, Bowers missed 12 games after injuring his left rotator cuff.
He hit the leadoff and went 1-for-3 with a walk in the return.
“Excited to have him back,” Boone said of Bauers, who went 7-9 in a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “He’s swung the bat well the last few days.”
Allen, who had been out since June 2 due to a hip flexor strain, returns as a speedy fourth outfielder capable of playing solid defense and contributing as a pinch runner.
The role is a bit more valuable than in previous seasons, as the league changed the rules to include more stolen bases in the game.
Allen, who ran for Bauers in the seventh inning and was thrown out trying to steal second, had played in the minor leagues with large bases and limited pickoff attempts.
When he learned that MLB would introduce rule changes in the big leagues, he said he “certainly didn’t hate it.”
Nestor Cortes (left rotator cuff strain) made his first rehab start with Double-A Somerset, throwing 42 pitches over 2 ¹/₃ innings. Cortes allowed one run on four hits and no walks while striking out four.
UConn men’s basketball coach and defending national champion Dan Hurley threw out the ceremonial first pitch.