TORONTO — Joe Girardi’s reaction essentially was this: Don’t go there.
Before Saturday’s game, he cut off an odd question that speculated that top pitching prospect Chance Adams might take Jordan Montgomery’s rotation spot because the rookie lefthander has minor-league options.
“Really? Are you kidding me? Come on now,” Girardi said. “Chance Adams has one or two starts in Triple-A. This kid [Montgomery] was 16-5 last year between Double and Triple-A and has pitched really well here.”
Girardi was slightly off on the numbers, though not by much. Adams, 22, is 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts since a mid-May promotion from Double-A Trenton. Montgomery, 24, who came on strong during the last two weeks of spring training in capturing the fifth starter’s job, went 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. He threw six shutout innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday to move to 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA.
“Give Chance a chance to get ready,” Girardi said. “I like what he’s doing and I think he’s going to pitch for us one day. But I hope we’re not ready to start that already.”
Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday continue to rib each other as they go neck-and-neck in their battle for second place on the team in homers behind Aaron Judge. Gardner, never considered a home run hitter, hit his 12th in the eighth inning Saturday, only to see Holliday, far more consistent in his career with the long ball, tie him two batters later.
Holliday, who looked back at Gardner in the dugout as he rounded the bases and was picked up by TV microphones yelling “I got you, Gardy!” as he returned to the dugout, smiled after the game.
“I gave him his minute of being in the lead,” said Holliday, whose drive went 442 feet. “I let him have his moment.”
Said Gardner: “He said he couldn’t let me take the lead for too long. We’ll see who hits the next one. Good thing distance doesn’t matter. If it did, he’d have me in that department for sure.”
Sanchez sits, Romine hurts
With the Yankees at the tail end of a stretch of 20 straight games, Gary Sanchez got his second game off in the last four days.
“Day game after a night game,” Girardi said. “It’s a long year. The one thing you don’t want to do is fatigue guys too early.”
Backup Austin Romine, who sported a huge welt after fouling a ball off his left shin area during Wednesday night’s game, was hit with a foul ball high on the left shin guard in the third inning Saturday. He went down on his knees and elbows with his top of his head resting on the ground.
“He’s a mess,” Girardi said.
Romine went 0-for-4 and clearly was in pain while running to first. “It hurt to run,” he said. “But I was out there to catch.”
In my Judgment . . .
Judge’s home run Friday night still had opposing team scouts buzzing Saturday.
“Opposite field in the second deck?” one veteran scout said. “I’ve never seen that before in this place.”
Another chance for Ref
Two hits Wednesday night in Baltimore and Chris Carter’s continuing struggles could give Rob Refsnyder an opportunity for more playing time.
“You have to think about it,” Girardi said before Saturday’s game, which Refsnyder started at first base. “This has been a young man who has shown some ability to hit.”
Refsnyder went 0-for-3 but reached base on an error, stole second and scored the Yankees’ first run.
As for Carter, who hit 41 homers last season but came into Saturday hitting .182 with four homers and 14 RBIs, the increased time he’s received in the wake of Greg Bird’s injury hasn’t resulted in dramatically improved numbers.
“He hasn’t been quite as productive as we thought but still has 14 RBIs over  at-bats,” Girardi said. “It’s not terrible.”
Aroldis Chapman, on the disabled list since May 13 with rotator cuff inflammation, threw 15 pitches in what Girardi characterized as a “light side” session Saturday. After the game, Chapman told ESPNDeportes he will throw a bullpen session Monday and likely will head to Tampa later in the week to throw live batting practice at the minor-league complex. Girardi said a return by June 13 is realistic.