SEATTLE – Sonny Gray is returning to the Yankees' rotation.
For one turn, anyway.
“We just felt like it kind of buys everybody a little bit of rest,” Aaron Boone said Sunday morning. “It’s a chance to get everybody just an extra day or two here or there that will hopefully show its effects at the end of the season and on into the postseason.”
And so J.A. Happ will start Monday against the Twins on five days’ rest, Gray will take the ball Tuesday and the slumping Luis Severino will start Wednesday on six days’ rest.
Gray has pitched well since losing his rotation spot in early August, posting a 1.83 ERA in six games, including a spot start in the second game of a doubleheader in Baltimore on Aug. 25. He allowed three hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
“Excited for the opportunity for sure,” said Gray, who was informed Saturday that he will be starting Tuesday.
Of the success he’s had for the most part since being demoted, Gray said it’s been a matter of “attacking guys.”
Boone agreed. “[He’s been] a little more on the attack, maybe a little more trusting of his stuff and maybe not overanalyzing or overthinking every sequence,” he said. “As we’ve talked about all year, when he’s attacking with his stuff, he’s so capable of being a really good pitcher. And he’s shown that really since moving to the pen.”
Aaron Judge (right wrist fracture) again hit off a tee Sunday, as he’s done all week, and said indications are he’ll take batting practice on the field at some point this week in Minneapolis.
“The pain's not gone. It's still broken," Judge said after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners. But he said several times that he is encouraged with how the wrist responded all week after he hit off a tee.
"No setbacks," he said.
Didi cleared for takeoff
Didi Gregorius, activated from the disabled list Friday, was eased back into this series, and Boone said the shortstop likely will be back to “everyday” playing status starting Monday night.