Starlin Castro reported to Yankee Stadium on Monday feeling good, but Joe Girardi decided not to take any chances.
“I came in better today, I can play,” said Castro, who injured his left oblique while diving back to third base in the seventh inning of Sunday night’s loss to the Red Sox. “He [Girardi] decided to give me the day off.”
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Girardi said the reason for that had little to do with the oblique, though certainly the extra day won’t hurt. More to the point, Castro had played in each of the Yankees’ first 29 games.
“I haven’t given him a day the whole year. He’s played every game,” Girardi said. “He does feel significantly better than he did yesterday. If I need him, I will use him tonight, but I just felt like if I could sneak him a day [off], it might really help in clearing it all up.”
Castro, who was replaced by Ronald Torreyes, entered Monday with a .296/.333/.463 slash line, three homers and 12 RBIs.
Rookie righthander Johnny Barbato, who secured a bullpen spot with a standout spring training and had five straight scoreless outings to start the regular season before struggling, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a corresponding roster move to Aroldis Chapman being reinstated.
“Johnny did a really good job early for us,” Girardi said. “We believe the upside with Johnny is really, really big . . . We believe he’s going to help us a lot this year.”
Barbato was 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA in 12 games, including a 10.29 ERA in his previous seven games.
Jacoby Ellsbury, out since leaving Friday night’s game with a tight right hip, won’t be back Tuesday night, Girardi said, but “hopefully shortly after that.”
The Yankees-Tigers game that was rained out on April 10 will be made up June 2 at 7:40 p.m. at Comerica Park, the Tigers announced . . . Chase Headley, who lugged a .163/.253/.163 slash line into Monday night’s game, was on the field just before 3 p.m. taking early batting practice.