Notes: Odor's 'weird' return; Torres incoming
The turn toward the visitors’ clubhouse at Globe Life Field felt strange to Rougned Odor on Tuesday, the former Ranger enjoying a pair of returns on the same afternoon: activated from the injured list and back in Texas, where he once starred.
After more than 850 big league games in a Texas uniform and no longer sporting the bushy beard that was his trademark, Odor has found a comfortable home with the Bronx Bombers. The 27-year-old hopes to keep that rolling as he returns from a left knee sprain sustained on May 4.
“It’s weird being on the other side,” Odor said. “I played here all of my career with this team, but I’m here [with the Yankees] now, and I’m just ready to go. I’m going to try to help my team win and try to do the best that I can.”
His first game back was a success, going 2-for-5 with a double at the plate and an impressive double-play turn at second base in the Yankees' 7-4 victory over the Rangers.
Though Odor batted just .164 (10-for-61) through his first 19 games with New York, he displayed a knack for delivering big hits.
Entering Tuesday, five of Odor’s hits as a Yankee had either tied the game or given his club the lead. Odor also has three game-winning RBIs, tied for the most on the club.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he joked with Odor on Monday, referring to Globe Life Field as “The House that Rougie Built.”
“He’s been great in our clubhouse,” Boone said. “He fits right in with our guys and with our culture. He's been productive on the field, and in the couple of weeks he's been out there with us, he got some big hits for us. He’s been playing really good defense. It's exciting to get him back.”
Odor sprained the knee slamming into Astros catcher Martín Maldonado, a play that forced both players to exit the game. Boone feared a significant injury as Odor went for tests that night, and Odor acknowledged on Tuesday that he also expected bad news.
“It was tough,” Odor said. “Right away when that happened, it really hurt. I was scared; I’ve never had problems with my knees. In that play, I couldn't even get up. Thank God nothing serious happened and now I'm ready to go.”
Gleyber Torres has been cleared by the Joint COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee and is traveling to rejoin the Yankees in Texas. Boone said Torres could be activated on Wednesday.
Torres worked out at the Yankees’ facilities in Tampa, Fla., on Monday and Tuesday. He is the only individual of the club’s nine recent positive COVID-19 tests to be cleared, Boone said.
• The Yankees received encouraging news regarding left-hander Zack Britton, who experienced soreness following his most recent simulated game and had a Minor League rehab assignment pushed back. Britton was examined on Monday and is said to be structurally sound; Boone said Britton could resume throwing as soon as this weekend.
• Sidelined by a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, Aaron Hicks remains in a holding pattern as the Yankees wait to see if a weeklong course of anti-inflammatories will allow the outfielder to resume play. Boone said if Hicks requires surgery, it could be season-ending.
• With Giancarlo Stanton expected to rejoin the Yankees’ lineup on May 25, the designated hitter went through weight-room activities and indoor batting on Tuesday, according to Boone. No tests have been scheduled for Stanton, who is out with a left quadriceps strain.
Result aside, Boone was impressed by his first look at Globe Life Field, which opened last season.
“This place is pretty impressive,” Boone said. “The visiting clubhouse and the layout of it and the amenities are really nice. With a full crowd, it came with a little more energy. It felt good to play in front of a full crowd like that. It's a beautiful place, no question. They did it really well.”
Luke Voit received a night off Tuesday, his first since rejoining the Yankees on Friday. Boone said he anticipates Voit will return Wednesday and play through until Monday's off-day. Boone said Clint Frazier was also being rested after starting each game of the trip to date.
This date in Yankees history
May 18, 1969: Joe Pepitone led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run off Angels reliever Hoyt Wilhelm, securing a 1-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Pepitone also hit a three-run homer in the first game, a 3-1 Yankees victory.