ST. PETERSBURG -- Gio Urshela flexed his left hand repeatedly, stealing glances at the growing discoloration, then promised manager Aaron Boone that he would be fine. With the postseason in sight, the Yankees certainly hope that will be the case.
Urshela was hit on the hand by a 94.6-mph Diego Castillo fastball in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. He remained in the game after the plunking, playing a half-inning of defense at third base before being substituted out.
“I know our team has had a lot of injuries, but I think mine is not bad,” Urshela said.
X-rays taken at the ballpark were negative, and Urshela was diagnosed with a bruise.
Asked why Urshela was not immediately removed from the game, Boone said that he trusted the read provided by head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, who checked on Urshela at first base and again after the half-inning.
“When Stevie came out and checked him, I kind of put it in his hands there,” Boone said. “We talked through it, and once he got through the defense, we decided it was obviously best to get it X-rayed and iced.”
The 27-year-old Urshela has been one of the great surprises of this Major League season after being acquired from the Blue Jays last August in exchange for approximately $25,000.
Urshela finished Tuesday 0-for-2 with the hit-by-pitch, and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats. Despite the skid, he is batting .315/.356/.532 with 20 homers and 73 RBIs in 129 games.
“At this point I don’t necessarily look at it as he is automatically [out of Wednesday’s lineup],” Boone said. “We certainly won’t risk anything, and [we'll] check on him and see how it is. I don’t anticipate it as an automatic down.”