Though Aaron Boone said late Saturday morning that Gio Urshela’s sore left knee was doing "much better," he also indicated that the Yankees might wait until Tuesday on the road before reinserting the third baseman into the lineup.
"I don’t know if he’ll be in there tomorrow or not," Boone said.
Urshela was not in Saturday’s lineup and, with Monday an off day before the Yankees start a three-city, nine-game trip Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Florida, that might make the most sense from the club’s perspective.
Urshela left Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the Astros in the eighth inning with stiffness in the knee, something he felt shortly after making a diving stop on a grounder earlier in the inning. An MRI taken late Thursday showed inflammation but no structural damage, the Yankees said.
"[We] continue to be optimistic that this is a day-to-day thing," Boone said Saturday. "And whether he’s in there tomorrow [Sunday] or maybe the first day in Tampa, we’ll kind of see how he gets through today and what he’s able to do, but he’s doing a lot better and looking still like a day-to-day thing."
With Urshela out, DJ LeMahieu filled in at third for a second straight game and Tyler Wade again started at second.
Zack Britton, sidelined since undergoing surgery March 15 to remove a bone chip from his left elbow, continues to be on target for a return at some point in June.
Britton, who has been throwing bullpen sessions regularly, threw sliders for the first time in his rehab on Friday. Boone said Britton is in line to throw his first simulated game next Saturday, with the possibility of the reliever being declared ready to "start his rehab assignment after that."
It will depend on the length of Britton’s rehab assignment, but a return by mid-June is possible.
Hot start for Florial
Outfielder Estevan Florial, still considered among the Yankees’ top position prospects but a player who has slipped under the radar a bit the last couple of seasons because of a combination of injuries and lack of performance, is off to a good start in his minor-league season.
The 23-year-old, who made his big-league debut in 2020 during the COVID-19-shortened 60-game season, entered Saturday hitting .333 (5-for-15) with three homers and a 1.478 OPS in his first four games with Double-A Somerset.
"He’s a five-tool [player], I think he’s an All-Star-caliber talent," Boone said Saturday. "He is a guy that can legitimately play centerfield, can fly, [has] power to all fields. He certainly has all the tools to be a special player. It’s about, obviously, putting those together and now having it show up in performance and consistency."
Voit closing in
Boone said Luke Voit, who started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, was slated to play seven innings in the field Saturday night for Scranton, DH on Sunday and "potentially could be with us early" in the upcoming week.