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Yankees fill-in Mike Tauchman adds offense to his good defense

Mike Tauchman #39 of the Yankees beats the

Mike Tauchman #39 of the Yankees beats the throw to Chris Iannetta #22 of the Colorado Rockies to score a run during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium on Friday, July 19, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

MINNEAPOLIS — Aaron Boone said Brett Gardner wasn’t quite ready to go Tuesday night, meaning another start for Mike Tauchman in leftfield.

And playing time for Tauchman of late has not been a bad thing for the Yankees.

The 28-year-old was acquired in the final days of spring training from the Rockies because of the back injury that had Aaron Hicks on the IL to start the regular season. He has been consistently solid to good defensively when called upon. But Tauchman’s bat recently has been a revelation. He went 2-for-5 Tuesday night, making the lefty-swinging outfielder 14-for-28 in 10 games this month with two homers, two doubles and nine RBIs.

“He’s a really good defender, whatever spot you put him in,” Aaron Boone said before Tuesday’s game. “Our guys [talent evaluators] did a good job of feeling like there was something in there offensively. Hasn’t had a lot of opportunities yet in the big leagues and he’s taken advantage of that.”

As for Gardner, who banged up his left knee making a sliding catch Saturday and hasn't been in the starting lineup since, Boone believes the 35-year-old could be OK for Wednesday.

“I think he’ll be an option for us tonight if we needed something, and then I think there’s a chance he could be in there tomorrow.”

Maybe Maybin soon

Boone said Cameron Maybin, who has been out since June 22 with a left calf strain but who started a rehab assignment Tuesday night with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, could be back by next week.

“He’s DH’ing tonight, will play the field tomorrow, then have an off day,” Boone said. “We’ll kind of build him up. Whether it’s five or six games, not really sure because we’ll want him to play a couple of different spots. Hopefully within the week he’ll start to be an option for us.”

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