NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres is the only remaining position player from the Yankees' Opening Day lineup to have avoided the injured list, and as the club prepares for its most important games of the season, his teammates are hoping that the standout infielder's good fortune will continue.
Torres' legs buckled underneath him as he fielded Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s fourth-inning infield hit in New York's loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Torres remained in the game until the seventh inning, and manager Aaron Boone said that Torres underwent an MRI on his right hamstring on Saturday. The results came back negative.
“I feel good,” Torres said after the Yanks’ 7-2 win on Saturday. “Last night, it was a scary moment. After that play, I felt really good. A couple of innings later, I started feeling weak. I just prefer to be smart and take care of my leg.”
Boone said that as a result of Friday’s injury, he will probably play Torres conservatively through the end of the season, even as the Yankees continue to pursue home-field advantage by challenging the Astros for the best record in the American League. Torres is not expected to play in Sunday’s series finale against Toronto.
“I'm always trying to make sure guys stay healthy and protect guys,” Boone said. “Any ailments we're dealing with, taking care of that trumps everything. We've got to make sure we're healthy. I'm always trying to strike that balance. We're trying to win games, but health is really important.”
An All-Star in his first two Major League seasons, the 22-year-old Torres is batting .284/.343/.546 with a team-leading 38 homers. His 90 RBIs rank second on the club to DJ LeMahieu's 97.
“Just being smart is the most important for me and the team; just be careful with everything,” Torres said. “Really, I feel good.”
What a relief
CC Sabathia is expected to make the first regular-season relief appearance of his career on Tuesday against the Rays at Tropicana Field, Boone said.
Sabathia is auditioning for a potential relief role during the playoffs. The left-hander could make two relief appearances before the end of the season, with the second likely coming during the Sept. 27-29 series against the Rangers.
Sabathia's only previous relief appearance came in the deciding Game 5 of the 2011 AL Division Series against the Tigers, when he recorded four outs -- all via strikeout.
The Yankees are pondering their pitching for the postseason, envisioning a roster that could carry as many as 13 pitchers. Though Domingo German’s availability is in doubt, with the right-hander been placed on the restricted list while Major League Baseball investigates an alleged incident of domestic abuse, Boone said that the team could still use pitchers in a "piggyback" role during the playoffs.
“I would still say anything and everything is on the table,” Boone said. “We're starting to talk through some potential scenarios now. Those conversations will continue until we set our roster and maybe even as the first round unfolds. I don't think Domingo being out necessarily changes the thought process. It takes away a really good pitcher from us and how we can deploy them, but I don't think it necessarily will change our plans overall.”
Edwin Encarnacion (left oblique strain) is expected to hit indoors on Saturday, and he could return to the lineup as soon as the upcoming series against the Rays, and almost certainly by the Rangers series, Boone said.
Gary Sanchez (left groin strain) hit in the indoor cages and performed on-field agility drills on Saturday. Boone said that he “is feeling more confident” that Sanchez will return in time for the ALDS, and potentially by the Rangers series.
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 21, 2008: The Yankees played their final game at the original Yankee Stadium, closing the venue with a 7-3 victory over the Orioles. Derek Jeter addressed an announced crowd of 54,610 after the game, asking fans to “take the memories from this stadium and add them to the new memories we make at the new Yankee Stadium.”