Aaron Boone said he would talk to Gleyber Torres about the Yankees shortstop not hustling on a check-swing grounder in front of the plate in the seventh inning of the Yankees’ 4-1 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Torres, who went 1-for-4 and is batting .186, was thrown out at first by catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
"I think anytime you’ve got that kind of situation . . . you’ve got to get after it," Boone said. "I think initially, the checked swing, he just probably in his mind [thought] foul ball right away and it’s like, ‘Oh, no, I’ve got to get going’ and then you’re a little late. That’s got to be a little bit better, obviously."
Torres, who used the "checked swing defense" in a postgame Zoom interview, said he had not yet spoken with Boone.
"It was a checked swing and in that moment, really, I didn’t know if it was fair or foul," he said. "I didn’t see the ball really well and I feel like I started running late. But I feel like I can put a little more effort in running to first base."
It was the second time a Yankees player did not run hard to first base on Wednesday. Gio Urshela didn’t go hard when he bounced into a double play in the sixth inning. But Urshela appeared to be injured and left the game an inning later with lower back tightness.
"No tests scheduled," Boone said. "I think they feel that it’s going to be something that is day-to-day. I think it just locked up a little bit on him, probably in the cold . . . I don’t think it’s anything too serious."
Another shot for German
Domingo German’s second chance will get a second chance when the righthander returns to the rotation on Thursday night as the Yankees open an eight-game road trip in Cleveland.
German, who returned to the Yankees this season after more than a year away following a suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, was sent to the alternate site after going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his first two starts. German allowed four home runs in seven innings.
"[I] feel like he's going to be a really good pitcher for us," Boone said. "Like with our other starters, I really do have a lot of confidence with where he's at and how he's thrown the ball and what he's capable of."
German was an 18-game winner in 2019 before his season ended after an incident involving his girlfriend. German won the fifth starter’s job over Deivi Garcia in an excellent spring training. He most recently pitched on Saturday in a Triple-A exhibition game and allowed one unearned run in five innings against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
"When I went down there at the alternate camp, I wanted to work on my fastball command," German said through a translator. "It’s one of the things I spoke to our pitching coach here after my last outing in the big leagues and it’s one of the things we wanted to improve."
Garcia last pitched on Monday, when he threw five shutout innings vs. Lehigh Valley.
The Yankees will play four games in Cleveland and four in Baltimore before coming home to continue a stretch of 13 days with games that began on Tuesday.
The Yankees optioned righthander Brooks Kriske to the alternate site after Wednesday’s game to make room for German on the roster. y.
Hicks, Frazier back in lineup
After benching them for one game, Boone put Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier back in Wednesday’s lineup against Atlanta righthander Ian Anderson. Hicks was dropped from his usual No. 3 spot to seventh. Frazier hit ninth. Gio Urshela, who had a homer and double on Tuesday, was in the cleanup spot.
Boone originally said on Tuesday he was thinking of giving Hicks two days off. But the manager was impressed by Hicks’ plate appearance in the eighth inning, when he walked on four pitches to start the Yankees’ winning rally.
"I just felt good about the day and conversations with [hitting coach] Marcus [Thames] postgame, just felt like I want to get him back in there," Boone said. "Aaron's in a good mental space. Had a good day [Tuesday]. Obviously, had a really important, quality at-bat for us in the inning in which we grabbed the lead, so I thought it just made sense today."
Frazier also had a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth. He popped out to second base with runners on second and third, his 67th at-bat this season without an RBI. But the eventual winning run did score on a wild pitch while he was at the plate.
It took three more at-bats on Wedneday before he finally got his first RBI, a run-scoring single in the ninth inning.
Yankees "close" to 85%
Boone said the Yankees were "as close as you can be" to hitting MLB’s 85% threshold in getting their players and Tier 1 staff vaccinated against COVID-19. Teams that hit 85% are allowed to loosen some of their COVID-related restrictions.
A Yankees spokesman said the team could hit the magic number soon. Some players got their second shot a few days after the rest of the team and have to go through a 14-day waiting period before they can be added to the total.