ST. PETERSBURG -- Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks are continuing to progress toward rejoining the Yankees' lineup, with both players participating in an early workout on Thursday morning at Tropicana Field.Gregorius (torn cartilage in right wrist) and Hicks (tightness in left hamstring) both ran the bases and took batting practice
ST. PETERSBURG -- Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks are continuing to progress toward rejoining the Yankees' lineup, with both players participating in an early workout on Thursday morning at Tropicana Field.
Gregorius (torn cartilage in right wrist) and Hicks (tightness in left hamstring) both ran the bases and took batting practice on the field. Hicks is expected to play on Friday against the Red Sox, while manager Aaron Boone is hopeful that Gregorius can play before the end of the regular season.
"It's looking good for both of them," Boone said. "We'll see on Didi. We hope he continues to get through each day. We'll see how the BP goes on the field, then it's more leaning on the doctors to make sure he's good to go. But I would expect Aaron back in there [Friday] for sure."
Boone has said that even if Gregorius is not able to play during the Red Sox series, it would not necessarily rule him out from appearing on the roster for the American League Wild Card Game.
"He came in today, and another positive sign, he felt good," Boone said. "So hopefully today goes well on the field and we continue to trend in the right direction."
Calls to arms
Boone said that the Yankees are still having "casual conversations" about their starter for the AL Wild Card Game, deciding between J.A. Happ, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. The Yanks' magic number to secure home-field advantage over the Athletics was two entering play on Thursday.
"We feel like, in a lot of ways, we're dealing with a few different really good options, so that whoever doesn't end up going makes sense going in the next series," Boone said. "We're going to, as best we can, determine what path we like the best going into the [Wild Card] Game."
Boone said that if the Yankees advance to the AL Division Series, Carsten Sabathia would probably be their fourth starter, with Lance Lynn likely serving as an option out of the bullpen for certain matchups.
"Lynn can be really tough on righties," Boone said. "There's a role you see Lance Lynn playing, not only to be able to give you a little bit of length obviously if you needed that in a playoff game, but also the ability to match up with some righties, especially [in] early or middle innings. A lot of our right-handed guys are almost better at getting lefties out, and Lynn gives you that little righty-on-righty thing that's pretty compelling."
Aaron Judge has made some good contact of late, including a 109-mph liner that the Rays' Jake Faria somehow snared on Tuesday, but the Yankees are still waiting for the slugger's first homer since returning from the disabled list. Judge was 7-for-32 (.219) with two doubles and three RBIs through his first 10 games since returning from a right wrist fracture.
"It's been Aaron Judge at-bats," Boone said. "I won't say I'm surprised, but I've been really pleased from the get-go how much he's looked very much like himself from just his control of the strike zone, the quality of his at-bats. I think the extra-base hits, the home runs, are things that will come and hopefully in bunches. That's usually how they happen."
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 27, 1938: An ailing Lou Gehrig hits his 493rd and final home run, a solo shot off the Senators' Dutch Leonard. The blast comes exactly 15 years after Gehrig's first big league blast, a shot off Bill Piercy at Fenway Park on Sept. 27, 1923.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.