NEW YORK -- The Yankees received encouraging news concerning Gio Urshela's ailing left knee on Friday, as an MRI showed inflammation but no structural damage. The infielder could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday, manager Aaron Boone said.
"He checked out pretty well after the game, and then the MRI confirmed that everything is structurally sound," Boone said. "He's got a little bit of swelling in there. Whether he's back in there tomorrow or whatever, we'll go day by day, but he's doing a lot better."
Urshela exited Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Astros with knee stiffness, sustained on a diving stop in the eighth inning.
Andújar finished second to Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani in the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year Award voting (Gleyber Torres was third) after hitting .297 with 27 homers, 47 doubles, 92 RBIs and an .855 OPS over 149 games.
The 26-year-old Andújar underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery early in the 2019 campaign and has played just 33 games across 2019-20, batting .193 with one homer and a .476 OPS.
Andújar opened 2021 on the injured list due to a right wrist issue before being sent to the alternate training site on April 25, where most of his work was done at first base -- prompting Boone's decision to start Andújar there on Friday.
"He's been over there before, and he's worked there before," Boone said. "We had him work there pretty steadily last week just so he could get enough reps in case a situation like this presented itself. He's been doing good over there."
Boone may have to guard what he says to his father with the Nationals in town for the weekend. Bob Boone is a vice president of player development and a senior advisor to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.
In fact, the Nationals assigned the elder Boone to scout the Yankees in 2019, when it appeared that Washington might see New York in the World Series. Instead, the Nats defeated the Astros in six games to claim the franchise's first title.
"One of the big reasons we do this job is to get that ultimate prize," Boone said. "He's gotten to do it now as a player [with the 1980 Phillies] and as a member of the front office. We didn't talk a whole lot during our [American League] Championship Series, and then when we were knocked out, I was certainly supportive -- but probably a little disgruntled, too. I probably wasn't as good as I should have been."
He said it
"The way the ball comes off his bat, you can't even do that in BP. It's almost unhuman, how he impacts the ball. It sounds different. When he steps up to the plate, everybody in the ballpark is locked in to what he's about to do." -- Tyler Wade, on Giancarlo Stanton
This date in Yankees history
May 7, 2006: Joe Torre became the fourth manager in franchise history to amass 1,000 career wins, joining Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149) and Miller Huggins (1,067). Hideki Matsui's three-run homer highlighted a five-run fifth inning in the Yankees' 8-5 win over the Rangers.