Drury working to alleviate migraine issue
Righty Holder recalled from Triple-A; Warren placed on disabled list
NEW YORK -- Brandon Drury was on the Yankee Stadium infield early on Saturday morning, his spikes digging into the dirt as he repeatedly rounded first base under the watch of the coaching staff. Sidelined with severe migraines that have caused blurred vision, those simple steps represented progress as he aims to resume playing in games.
"I'm figuring out what's going on, so it's good," Drury said. "We've been doing a lot of work in the back of my neck area. I'm not sure if that's what was causing this, but there was a lot of pressure back there. We're trying to release that."
Drury has been on the disabled list since April 7 with the issue, which he said has affected him throughout his career, though he did not disclose it to the D-backs during his previous three big league seasons, and the Yankees say they were unaware of it prior to his February acquisition. While Drury said he is still experiencing migraines, the blurred vision has dissipated.
"I think he's a really good player, and if we can get those answers and get this issue put aside, I'm just eager to get him back in there helping us," manager Aaron Boone said. "He was out running the bases this morning. He got his ground-ball work and baserunning in. I know he's hitting. Hopefully we're getting close to him starting to play in some games, wherever that may be."
In Drury's absence, Miguel Andujar has made a solid impression at third base, including hitting his second big league homer in Friday's 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays. Andujar entered play on Saturday with seven extra-base hits in his past four games.
"I think he's done a better job controlling the strike zone," Boone said. "Early on in his first several games, he was a little bit anxious, maybe a little bit over-aggressive. He's an aggressive hitter, because he can handle so many pitches in the strike zone. I think he's settling in a little bit and getting a little more comfortable."
The Yankees recalled right-hander Jonathan Holder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Saturday's game, adding a fresh arm to their taxed bullpen. Righty Adam Warren was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right back strain.
"For our bullpen to be what we know they are, we've got to be able to protect them with some innings from our starters," Boone said. "That's obviously something we've got to start getting. It's a priority."
The move came one night after Sonny Gray lasted 3 1/3 innings, with his ERA swelling to 8.27 through four starts. Despite a small drop in velocity, Boone said that he does not believe that Gray's issues are mechanical or physical.
"I think the pitches are there. I think the stuff is there," Boone said. "He's not getting strike one as much as he historically has during his career. … We've got to get him through this, because he's so important to our club. I absolutely believe it's in there. Hopefully we'll look back on this as just a tough start, and maybe he'll be better for having gone through it."
Boone and several of the Yankees' coaches were amused by Ronald Torreyes' seventh-inning single in Friday's game, in which the utilityman literally threw his bat at a Danny Barnes slider and was rewarded with a single that dropped into left field.
"It was one of those, you kind of look at each other, like, 'Did I see that right?'" Boone said.
Torreyes entered play on Saturday having hit safely in each of his eight starts, batting .500 (14-for-28) in those games. Overall, Friday's 3-for-4 performance raised his season average to .438 (14-for-32).
"He's a pro," Boone said. "He just does a lot of things well, prepares really well. I love watching him prepare, bouncing around different positions, getting all of his work in. He's been a spark for us. Whether he's sitting over there for a while, he goes out and seems to figure it out in the box. Whatever position you throw at him, he seems to get it done."
Bird flying south
Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) has been hitting, running and throwing, and the first baseman expects to continue doing so at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., when the team travels to the West Coast next week.
Bird said that he is about a week away from logging at-bats in extended spring training, and he expects to rejoin the big league lineup in May.
"We'll see how next week goes," Bird said. "We'll come up with more of a game plan after that."