CHICAGO — General manager Brian Cashman has said several times that he believes ace Luis Severino should return to the Yankees sometime after the All-Star break.
Still, the timetable for the righthander taking the next significant step in his rehab — which would be throwing off a mound — is up in the air.
“Just continuing to stretch out,” Aaron Boone said late Saturday afternoon. “Not sure exactly when his first bullpen will be, but he’s just continuing to get lengthened out from a throwing program standpoint, and then you get up to the mound portion.”
Severino, who started the season on the injured list with right rotator cuff inflammation and then was shelved from throwing for six weeks when he suffered a lat strain in early April, has made the last several trips with the Yankees, consistently throwing in the outfield on flat ground before games. He has thrown up to 90 feet during long-toss sessions.
“All that’s, since he started throwing, has gone pretty smoothly,” Boone said. “He’s felt good every time he’s thrown; coming in the next day, he’s felt good. So he’s moving in the right direction, but staying pretty disciplined to the progression.”
As for when after the All-Star break Severino might return, Boone doesn’t have a timeframe.
“I’m not thinking anything right now,” he said. “You just focus on the process right now. Getting him out to the long toss and then getting on the mound and then you can start to have an idea from ‘OK, what’s a spring training buildup for a starting pitcher look like?’ And that’s what we’re dealing with.”
Don’t go there
Luke Voit, who homered in the first inning off Lucas Giolito on Friday, took exception to the pitch that arrived up and in during his second at-bat.
“I go deep on him, then next pitch 97? I don’t even know how it didn’t hit me,” a still-steamed Voit said afterward. “It’s a bunch of B.S. It’s really frustrating. I don’t know if he was trying to do it or not but … when it’s in that area, it’s not good. First pitch you throw to me after I hit a home run off you is at my face? I mean, you tell me.”
Gio Urshela, in his first extended slump of the season, got his second day off in three games Saturday.
“Just one of the infielders has to be down, so this is the alignment I wanted to go with today,” Boone said.
Urshela came into the day with a .179/.244/.359 slash line in 12 games this month. Though mostly strong in the field, the third baseman committed a key error in Friday’s loss, giving him a team-high 10.
All good for Gregorius
Friday marked one week since Didi Gregorius came off the injured list after starting the season there while recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Boone, who said the shortstop likely will get Sunday off, has been encouraged by how Gregorius has looked physically.
“I think pretty well,” Boone said. “When you check with him, he’s been ready to play every day for a long time. But I feel like he has responded well, feel like he’s moving pretty well and feel like overall he’s getting sharper and sharper with each inning.”