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Aaron Boone says prospect Justus Sheffield ‘is getting a lot closer’

Pitcher Justus Sheffield of the Yankees and the

Pitcher Justus Sheffield of the Yankees and the U.S. Team works the second inning against the World Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park on July 15 in Washington. Credit: Getty Images / Patrick McDermott

If the Yankees fail to trade for a starter before the trade deadline, Aaron Boone said, the Yankees will give serious consideration to promoting pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in the second half of the season.

“I would say Shef is very much [in the mix],” Boone said when asked if Sheffield could contribute immediately, the way Luis Severino did when he was called up in 2015. Sheffield has “had another really good year. He’s putting himself in position probably in the short term to be in consideration for a spot, whether it be a rotation need, whether it be a bullpen need. He certainly is knocking on that door and getting a lot closer, absolutely.”

The Yankees have called up a number of pitchers to round out a rotation that falls off a small cliff after the first three spots in the order. Domingo Acevedo was called up Saturday but didn’t pitch before he was optioned back to Double-A Trenton in return for Giovanny Gallagos, who was officially called up Sunday. Eventually, Luis Cessa is expected to take over that spot in the rotation.

Boone has said previously that they’re still hoping to “fine tune” Sheffield, who has a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts with Triple-A Scranton this season.

Injury updates

Gleyber Torres (hip) is still on track to join the Yankees in their series against Tampa next week, Boone said. Torres is expected to be back by Wednesday . . . Clint Frazier (concussion) was transferred from the seven-day Triple A disabled list to the Yankees’ 10-day disabled list, though the Yankees said they would know more about his injury Monday.

‘K’ OK

Although Boone said he wasn’t in love with the idea of striking out, he didn’t want his players to change their approach to the plate. Entering Sunday, the Yankees were seventh in the majors with 897 strikeouts. “I’ve been the guy that goes up there that strikes out a couple times and [says] I’m not going to strike out this time,” he said. “It usually ends up as a bad at-bat . . . because you’re so enthralled with touching the ball . . . I don’t want to sacrifice who guys are and their plans just for the case of touching the ball.”

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