Torres (elbow contusion) eyes return vs. Sox

July 31st, 2020

is hopeful that he can return to the Yankees’ lineup for Friday’s home opener, one day after the shortstop was hit in the right elbow by a pitch early in New York’s 8-6 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Torres was diagnosed with a right elbow contusion after undergoing X-rays, which were negative. Clipped by John Means’ 94.5 mph fastball in the first inning, Torres remained in the game until the fourth, when he was replaced defensively by Tyler Wade.

“It was painful, for sure,” Torres said. “I stayed in the game because I like to compete, but I started to feel a little bit tight. I wanted to stay in the game, but I couldn’t throw at that moment 100 percent. I didn’t want to make errors for no reason.”

Torres remained in the game for one more at-bat after the hit-by-pitch, flying out to left field in the third inning. Yankees manager Aaron Boone did not rule out the suggestion that Torres could be in Friday’s lineup against the Red Sox.

“I’m not too concerned,” Boone said. “He’s a little sore. It hit right on the bone there. He could be in there [Friday]; we’ll see how he is when he gets to the field. I’m not concerned that it’s a long-term thing, but it could potentially be a day-to-day thing.”

The Jordan rules

was one of the Yankees’ most effective pitchers during Spring Training and Summer Camp, so it came as a surprise to some when the club optioned him to its alternate training site in advance of Opening Day.

As Boone explained to Montgomery, the Yankees did not expect to need a fifth starter during their first turn through the rotation, so the move would permit the club to carry an extra reliever or position player while allowing Gerrit Cole to make a second start.

“It was probably the smartest decision,” Montgomery said. “I would get Gerrit out there as many times as I could too, honestly. I'm just excited to get the ball. I controlled what I could control, stayed in my routine and stayed as ready as I could. I'll be ready to chuck it [Friday].”

Montgomery has been announced as the probable starter for what will become the Yanks’ home opener on Friday against the Red Sox. That start was originally expected to come against the Phillies, and Montgomery said that the coronavirus issues in the Marlins’ and Phillies’ clubhouses have raised the Yanks’ vigilance.

“We're being as safe as we can,” Montgomery said. “We've got guys wearing masks everywhere, cleaning up in the weight room. I think everybody's being really responsible about it. We saw what happened to the Marlins; it only takes a couple guys to not really follow protocols and then it just kind of catches like wildfire. No one wants to be that guy and kind of derail this train.”

Lasting impact

Boone spoke with emotion on Thursday regarding the passing of Mike Gillespie, who played on and coached College World Series teams with the University of Southern California, overseeing rosters that included 30 future Major Leaguers, including Boone and his brother Bret. Gillespie was 80.

“He was a great coach. He had a long, distinguished coaching career,” Boone said. “I gained so much from him from a baseball standpoint, but more of how he impacted me. He touched my life in a huge way and continued all the way through his death. I’d text with him a couple times a year; usually he'd send me a long text after I got tossed out of a game. He tended to like that. He was just such an important figure in my life. We lost a good one yesterday.”

Boone said that he wears uniform No. 19 in part as a tribute to Gillespie, who wore that number while serving as USC’s coach from 1987-2006. Gillespie also served as the manager of the Class A Staten Island Yankees in 2007.

“When I got to the big leagues [with the Reds], they gave me 17,” Boone said. “And then when I came here [to the Yankees in 2003], John Flaherty actually had 17 and he actually said he'd let me have it. I was like, ‘No, keep it. I'll wear 19 for Skip.’ And so that number is related to Mike Gillespie.”

Up next

The Yankees will host the Red Sox for the Yankee Stadium home opener on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Montgomery will face right-hander Ryan Weber in a game that can be seen on MLB Network, MLB.TV, YES and heard on WFAN/WADO.