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Gary Sanchez could be activated Wednesday

Catcher will join team barring setback in Monday's rehab assignment
@feinsand
April 21, 2019

NEW YORK -- Gary Sánchez will play a rehab game with Class A Charleston on Monday, catching five or six innings to test his strained left calf that has sidelined him for the past nine games. If Sanchez comes through the rehab game without any issues, he’ll fly to Anaheim

NEW YORK -- Gary Sánchez will play a rehab game with Class A Charleston on Monday, catching five or six innings to test his strained left calf that has sidelined him for the past nine games.

If Sanchez comes through the rehab game without any issues, he’ll fly to Anaheim on Tuesday and could be activated from the injured list for Wednesday’s game against the Angels.

In other injury news, Aaron Hicks (left lower back strain) headed for Tampa on Sunday to continue his rehab.

“He’s doing really well,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Now it’s just building him up and getting him ready to play in some rehab games. I don’t feel like that’s too far off.”

Troy Tulowitzki (left calf strain) and Miguel Andújar (right shoulder strain) were also headed to Tampa, while Giancarlo Stanton (left biceps strain) continues to rehab with the team.

“We’ll see where we are the next couple days with him, and then it could potentially move fast,” Boone said of Stanton. “He’s doing well.”

Close call

As Zack Britton lunged to tag out Terrance Gore on a rundown play in the 10th inning of Sunday's 7-6 walk-off win over the Royals, he felt something in his right ankle area that startled him. It wasn’t the same feeling he had when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in late 2017, but it was something he hadn’t really felt before.

After staying on the ground for a few moments, Britton got up. He chatted with a team trainer before testing his ankle with a couple warmup pitches and remaining in the game. Less than 18 months removed from his surgery, it turned out to be little more than a harsh reminder of the injury that cost him the first two-plus months of the 2018 season.

“You don’t work on rolling your ankle when you’re doing rehab,” said a smiling Britton, who thinks it was simply some scar tissue moving around. “Some new movements, you’ll feel something in there. It’s just the process of not even being two years out. I told them, ‘I’m not as athletic as I used to be pre-surgery.’ It felt fine. No issues whatsoever.”

Productive debut

Thairo Estrada’s big league debut came at a pressure-packed moment, as the rookie infielder was called upon in the 10th inning of a tie game with nobody out and runners at first and second base. His job? Lay down a sacrifice bunt.

“He’s been prepared,” Boone said. “I’m confident that he can get the bunt down in that kind of a matchup, which is not easy.”

Estrada, who was called up earlier in the day after Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list, took the first pitch from Ian Kennedy for a ball before laying down a perfect bunt down the first-base line on the second offering. Both runners advanced, setting up Austin Romine’s game-winning hit.

“Definitely a special moment there, but I had prepared myself mentally even before the opportunity came up,” Estrada said through an interpreter. “From the ninth inning there, I was focused. I knew that there was a chance I was going to be in there. I just had to be ready and get the job done.”

Going once, going twice…

Major League Baseball umpires will offer up more than 400 items, including autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences and upgraded ticket packages during the 11th Annual UMPS CARE Charities online auction. The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 10 p.m. ET on April 29.

Among the Yankees-related auction items are four tickets to a game, lunch with a Major League umpire with two tickets to a game, an Aaron Judge-signed jersey, a jersey, cap and baseball signed by Joe Torre, as well as baseballs signed by Aroldis Chapman and DJ LeMahieu.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.