The Yankees' injury list is about to shrink by one significant member. Gary Sanchez is expected to join the team on the West Coast on Tuesday and be available Wednesday, Aaron Boone said Saturday.
The plan is to have Sanchez, who has not played since April 10 because of a strained left calf, participate in one rehab game before his return. There are no minor-league games in the Yankees' system on Easter Sunday, so “that backs us up a little bit,’’ Boone said. “So he’ll play-- we're still trying to work out exactly where the most convenient spot is -- but he’ll play in a rehab game on Monday. If all goes well, he’ll fly out and meet us in Anaheim on Tuesday with the idea that he’ll be an active player for us Wednesday.’’
Boone sounded optimistic about other injured Yankees as he updated Giancarlo Stanton (biceps), Aaron Hicks (back), Troy Tulowitzki (calf) and Miguel Andujar (shoulder).
"You start to look forward to getting the calvary back a little bit and getting guys slowly but surely healthy,’’ he said. “I feel like we're close with Gary. Hopefully Giancarlo continues to make the progress he’s making. He can be around the corner. Aaron’s doing well. Tulo seems to be moving in the right direction and obviously if we continue to make progress with Miggy. Some [good] stuff out there on the horizon, but in the meantime, we're in the fight right now. And we gotta take care of business.’’
Decision time on Gonzalez
Lefthander Gio Gonzalez intends to opt out of his contract if he is not promoted from Triple-A within 48 hours, a source said. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees, who have not commented on their intentions, would have to release him by Monday and he then could sign with any other team. Gonzalez, 33, signed with the Yankees on March 19 and would earn $3 million plus incentives if added to the 25-man roster.
Gardner gets a rest
Lefthanded-hitting Brett Gardner, who had homered twice in the previous three games, surprisingly was not in the starting lineup against Royals righthander Heath Fillmyer. Gardner has five home runs. “He’s good,’’ Boone said. “Just kind of planning out in this 13 [games]-in-a-row stretch, 15 out of 16, trying to get guys spells here. So the day game after the night game [is] the spot for him. Hoping to get maybe Gleyber [Torres] and DJ [LeMahieu] a day here at some point, but today was the day to get Gardy out of there.’’
Before Aaron Judge's injury, Boone planned to rest more regulars. “Obviously with some of the injuries we’ve had, [we’re] leaning on guys,’’ Boone said, “but still got to be mindful of the fact it's a long haul and we gotta pick out spots, especially with guys we lean on heavily.’’