DETROIT — Greg Bird or Starlin Castro, maybe even both, could be back with the Yankees on Friday night.
The pair again played in a rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday afternoon at Rochester and combined to go 3-for-7. They hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning of Scranton’s 8-4 victory.
Before Thursday’s chaotic game against the Tigers at Comerica Park, Joe Girardi was asked if either one might be activated in time for Friday night’s game against the Mariners at the Stadium.
“Anything’s possible,” Girardi said. “Obviously, we’ll evaluate after tonight, but you very well could see someone tomorrow.”
If both are not activated, the safe bet would be that Bird is the first to return, as the Yankees have said he is a tad ahead of Castro in his rehab. Bird, who has been sidelined with a right ankle bone bruise, has played in eight rehab games and is 8-for-21 with three homers and six RBIs. Castro, dealing with a right hamstring strain, went 2-for-4 Thursday, improving to 8-for-22 with one homer and two RBIs in six games.
“All the reports have been good on Castro and Bird,” Girardi said. “We’ll continue to evaluate.”
Garcia still off
Among the many things lost in Thursday’s game, and there were plenty, was another subpar performance by lefthander Jaime Garcia, who was acquired before the trade deadline. Garcia again wasn’t sharp, allowing four runs (two earned) and five hits in four innings. Garcia hasn’t made it through six innings in any of his four starts for the Yankees.
Torreyes cools a bit
Ronald Torreyes went 0-for-3 but came into the day with 20 hits, including four on Wednesday night, in his previous 54 at-bats. But unlike many Yankees, Torreyes doesn’t do a lot of working the count.
“For years they’ve always said that the best pinch hitters are aggressive, and Toe in a lot of instances, when he doesn’t play every day, he’s similar to a pinch hitter,” Girardi said before the game. “He gets a day, then doesn’t play for four or five days, and I think that approach has worked for him. He’s going to get his swings and he usually get a pretty decent pitch to hit.”
Torreyes has spent much of his two-year Yankees career as a utility player but has gotten the bulk of the playing time at second with Castro on the DL. Earlier, when Didi Gregorius was hurt, he filled in at shortstop.
Kahnle back on track?
Add righthander Tommy Kahnle to the list of the overshadowed from Thursday’s insanity. Not the part when he was ejected for throwing behind Miguel Cabrera, but what preceded it. Kahnle, after posting a 1.54 ERA in his first 14 appearances with the Yankees, had struggled of late, allowing a combined five runs in his previous three games. But on Thursday, Kahnle struck out his first three hitters before facing Cabrera.
After the first bench-clearing incident Thursday, which involved Cabrera and Austin Romine, the Yankees catcher could be seen talking with his brother, Andrew Romine of the Tigers.
When asked if Andrew was trying to settle him down, Austin replied: “He wasn’t trying to settle me down. I’m a grown man. I can settle myself down . . . That’s between me and him.’’
The feuds extended beyond the two teams. After the Tigers’ Victor Martinez put a friendly hand on Gary Sanchez’s shoulder during one of the altercations, Martinez got into it with teammates Justin Verlander and Nick Castellanos in the dugout. When Verlander waved at him dismissively and walked away, Martinez tried to pursue him and was held back by Castellanos.
Thursday’s home run was Sanchez’s 47th in 146 games for the Yankees the past two seasons. He went 7-for-15 with four homers and nine RBIs in the three games against the Tigers.
Sanchez has six homers and 15 RBIs in his last seven games, eight homers and 19 RBIs in his last 10 games and 10 homers and 22 RBIs in his last 15 games.