CLEVELAND – Gio Urshela is "day-to-day" with the lower-back tightness that forced him from Wednesday night’s game after seven innings, with the hope being the third baseman will be back in the lineup Friday.
"Gio’s doing pretty well today," Aaron Boone said before Thursday’s game against Cleveland. "He’s been in a for a lot of treatment so I would say he’s quite a bit better than last night when we had to take him out of there. I’d say there’s a chance he’s an option for us tonight, and hopefully back in there tomorrow."
With Urshela out and the Yankees’ offense in a season-long slump, Boone decided to "shake things up" with his lineup.
DJ LeMahieu, hitting second, started at third as the lefty-hitting Brett Gardner was at leadoff. Aaron Judge, getting the night at DH, hit third and the lefthanded-hitting Mike Ford started at first and hit cleanup. The slumping – that adjective can be applied to just about every Yankee – Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez were not in the starting lineup.
"A couple of days ago I was kind of looking at this might be the day I would sit him [Stanton], knowing that we were traveling in late at night," Boone said. "Decided on it last night and it allows Judgy to get off of his feet a little bit."
Boone said sitting Sanchez was a product of "wanting to get Higgy [Kyle Higashioka] back in there."
Still, of the lineup overall, Boone said there was an element of simply desiring a different look. "A little bit of wanting to shake things up a little bit," he said. "Also, against [Cleveland righty] Aaron Civale, whose obviously a good pitcher and throwing the ball really well [and] is pretty tough on righties, so to be able to have a handful of lefties in the lineup. Part of it’s spacing [out our righties] and part of it’s wanting to shake things up a little bit."
A start for Deivi?
After going with Jordan Montgomery on Friday and Gerrit Cole on Saturday, the Yankees do not have a starter listed for Sunday. Boone said top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, who enjoyed a solid start to spring training before fading down the stretch in the fifth starter competition won by Domingo German, could be an option. If not Sunday, then the 21-year-old could get a start at some point early next week.
"Potentially," Boone said. "I’m still probably looking to insert a sixth starter in this stretch (13 in a row starting Tuesday night vs. Atlanta). Not necessarily Sunday. Could be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. It could be Deivi, he’s with us on the taxi squad. We’ll probably make a decision sometime in the next 24 hours."