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Facing Red Sox lefties, Yankees add Drury

Utilityman's versatility could prove valuable; Tanaka may return by July 6 road trip
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Even as he rounded the bases for his first home run in a Yankees uniform, Brandon Drury knew something wasn't right. As later detailed to general manager Brian Cashman, he'd somehow slugged a Marcus Stroman slider over the wall in that April 1 game at Toronto, but he couldn't see it.

Promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Friday's game, Drury said that it "wasn't easy at all" to swallow nearly three months away from the big league club. Still, the 25-year-old said that he does not regret speaking up concerning his migraines and blurred vision, both of which are now said to be under control.

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NEW YORK -- Even as he rounded the bases for his first home run in a Yankees uniform, Brandon Drury knew something wasn't right. As later detailed to general manager Brian Cashman, he'd somehow slugged a Marcus Stroman slider over the wall in that April 1 game at Toronto, but he couldn't see it.

Promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Friday's game, Drury said that it "wasn't easy at all" to swallow nearly three months away from the big league club. Still, the 25-year-old said that he does not regret speaking up concerning his migraines and blurred vision, both of which are now said to be under control.

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"My goal was to get right and to be the player that I know I can be," Drury said. "I have a long career ahead of me. I didn't want to not figure it out and keep going through it and waste another year. It's tough for sure, but at the same time, my goal was to get myself right."

Drury's right-handed bat could prove valuable this weekend as the Yankees host the Red Sox for a three-game series in which they are scheduled to face left-handers Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale and David Price. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that there is a "good chance" that Drury will stick on the roster past the weekend.

Video: NYY@TOR: Drury lines an RBI double off the wall

"He's earned his way back," Boone said. "I told him earlier that I was just really proud of the way he went about it. I'm sure it was difficult for him being down there, knowing you belong in the big leagues and you are a big leaguer. But all the reports we were getting as far as the work ethic, the early work, just taking his craft really serious -- it was all there."

Drury was the Yanks' Opening Day third baseman, playing in eight games before landing on the disabled list with what was found to be a nerve issue in the back of his head and neck. Drury said that he still has occasional treatments with a New York-based specialist, but no longer requires them as frequently.

"It's much better. It's much clearer," Drury said. "I'm excited about it and just looking forward to getting out there."

When Drury completed a Minor League rehabilitation assignment in May, he was optioned to Triple-A, where he has earned selection as an International League All-Star. Prior to Friday's promotion, Drury was slashing .314/.419/.488 with 13 doubles, five homers and 29 RBIs in 48 games.

"I worked as hard as I could down there to be a better player when I came back up," Drury said. "That was my mindset there, to get through that grind of being down there."

Acquired by the Yanks in a three-team trade with the D-backs and Rays in February, Drury has played mostly second base, third base and the outfield corners in his four-year big league career. The Yankees challenged Drury to play first base twice a week at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, intending to increase his versatility.

Boone said that it is possible he could use Drury at that position, where Greg Bird and Neil Walker have struggled offensively.

"We're [thinking] series by series right now," Boone said. "I think there's a good chance he'll play in a couple of these games potentially at first, potentially at third. His versatility is something that's a plus for him."

Comeback trail
After throwing approximately 50 pitches in a simulated game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Masahiro Tanaka is one step closer to rejoining the Bombers' starting rotation. Boone said that the right-hander will pitch in a Minor League rehab game in the middle of next week. If all goes well, the Yankees' skipper said Tanaka could be back with the team in time for its 10-day, 11-game road trip that begins July 6, if not sooner.

"It just depends on need and whatever, but he got through today. It went well," Boone said. "We'll see how he responds tomorrow and the days ahead, but a good step in the right direction."

Video: Hoch joins the Rundown to update Tanaka's injury

Tanaka was placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 9 for mild strains in both hamstrings that were sustained while running the bases in a game against the Mets at Citi Field the night prior. The righty is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 starts so far this season.

This date in Yankees history
June 29, 1941: With hits in both games of a doubleheader at Washington, Joe DiMaggio extended his hitting streak to 42 games, surpassing George Sisler's American League record of 41.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Brandon Drury