CLEVELAND — Gary Sanchez is ready for his rehab assignment.
The catcher, on the disabled list since June 25 with a right groin strain, went through more on-field work, which included running and batting practice, nearly five hours before first pitch of Saturday night’s game against the Indians.
Late Saturday afternoon, he flew to Scranton, where he’ll suit up for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Rochester on Sunday afternoon. Aaron Boone said Sanchez will catch seven innings Sunday, probably DH Monday at Toledo, be off Tuesday and catch again Wednesday. He likely will rejoin the Yankees when they start the season’s second half Friday at home against the Mets.
Even though Sanchez has had trouble getting into a rhythm at the plate — he is hitting .190 with a .291 on-base percentage — he has 14 home runs, 14 doubles and 41 RBIs and can control a running game with one of the strongest arms in the sport.
“Just extra length with a dynamic hitter in our lineup,” Boone said of what’s been missing with Sanchez out. “On many fronts, we’re looking forward to getting him and Gleyber [Torres] back. That being said, I feel like we’ve had guys really step up in their absence. I think we’ve more than survived because of the depth of our roster. But those are two pretty dynamic players.”
Speaking of Torres . . .
Boone said Torres, who ran the bases hard early Saturday afternoon and took full BP with the club before the game, isn’t “much further” behind Sanchez. Torres, on the DL since July 5 with a right hip strain, will be in Washington on Monday and Tuesday for the All-Star Game festivities. He’ll be accompanied by trainer Steve Donohue, who will do work both days with the rookie. Torres then is slated to start a rehab assignment with high Class A Tampa on Thursday or Friday.
The Yankees will play the Rays in St. Petersburg July 23-25 and Boone said Torres should rejoin his club “one of those days.”
Tyler Wade entered Saturday 6-for-13 with a homer and a double since being recalled from the minors July 7. His athleticism and ability in the field have never been questioned, but he was 3-for-35 (.086) this season and 12-for-93 (.129) in his career when he was demoted in April.
“This is kind of what he showed us in spring training when he was able to make the team,” Boone said. “I like what we’ve seen so far and he is playing himself more and more into a role, no doubt about it.”
The lefthanded-hitting Wade started at shortstop and had two hits Friday night. On Saturday night, he started at second against Cleveland righthander Mike Clevinger.