KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day later, the news regarding James Paxton was a bit more encouraging.
“I have not talked to him yet today. Understand he felt pretty good today but haven’t talked with him to [determine] the next course of action,” Aaron Boone said late Saturday morning. “But my understanding was he was feeling pretty good today.”
Paxton, on the injured list with left knee inflammation since May 4, struck out seven and allowed a hit in four innings in an extended spring training game Friday. The plan, if everything went well, was for him to return to the Yankees’ rotation the next turn through.
But Paxton, 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA in seven starts this season, told The Associated Press after the outing that he still felt some discomfort in the knee.
"I felt it a little bit but I still was able to make my pitches, which is what I wanted to see," said Paxton, who had a cortisone shot May 4. "If I come in tomorrow with more pain than I had walking in today, then we'll have to do something. But if I come in tomorrow and it feels the same as it did walking in today, then that's just how I'm going to have to pitch for right now."
Boone said Paxton still could be back in the rotation at some point in the upcoming week, depending on how the knee responded Saturday.
“Potentially, yes,” Boone said. “It’s just identifying the difference between feeling something and pain. Have to be able to go out there and deliver and pitch the way you’re capable of and be able to protect yourself. You don’t want to put a guy in harm’s way, so those will be conversations that we all have together to make the best decision for him and the team.”
Brett Gardner, who has struggled at the plate most of the season, went 3-for-4 with a triple in Saturday’s first game, making him 11-for-20 in his last five games. He had three doubles on Wednesday in Baltimore.
“I think he’s been pretty consistent at-bat-wise overall throughout the year,” Boone said. “I actually think he’s been a victim of some tough luck along the way, but there’s no question the last several days there’s been an uptick in his at-bats. He’s put some tough balls in play for hits, but he’s also jumped on some pitches early in the count when people are trying to get ahead of him.”
Gio Urshela turned in yet another highlight-reel play Saturday afternoon, fielding a ground smash in the eighth inning with a diving stop, rolling into a seated position and throwing a strike to Luke Voit for the out.
“It's unbelievable,” Voit said. “Because I'm over there, I'm getting to first and I'm like ready for kind of a bad throw and he freaking hits me in the chest. It's incredible. It's every day. There's never a bad throw."
Righty Chance Adams, who pitched three scoreless innings last Sunday against the Rays in a 13-5 victory at the Stadium, was called up to be the Yankees’ “26th man” for the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader…Voit entered Saturday’s nightcap with six multi-hit games in his previous nine games. He had a .410/.465/.744 slash line with seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs in that stretch.