Gio Urshela appears to have avoided the worst after injuring his hand on Tuesday in Anaheim.
The Yankees third baseman underwent an MRI exam that came back “fine,” manager Aaron Boone said Friday. Urshela fell on the hand following a throw home against the Angels.
“Not much there, so that was encouraging,” Boone said before the Yankees’ 4-3, 11-inning win over the Orioles on Friday.
Urshela still sat out his second straight game Friday and remained “day-to-day.”
Before Friday’s game, Urshela swung the bat, played catch and took grounders. How he responds to that will determine whether he could be back in the lineup as soon as Saturday against the Orioles.
A slumping Gary Sanchez was dropped to ninth in the lineup Friday, the first time in his career he has started a game in that spot.
The catcher entered Friday batting .194 (7-for-36) with one home run in 10 games since coming back from COVID-19 on Aug. 17. His lack of production dates back even further, though. He was hitting just .176 with five home runs and a .621 OPS in his last 38 games.
Sanchez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout on Friday.
“Since coming back from COVID, he’s been finding his way a little bit offensively, finding his strength a little bit,” Boone said. “He’s been hitting eighth, he’s been hitting seventh. We have a great lineup. Somebody’s gotta hit everywhere. Trying to create a little spacing. We got three lefties in there today, so just trying to create some spacing there. … I look at it as we got a potential wrecking machine in the nine-hole tonight.”
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who missed nearly two weeks with COVID-19, said he is “starting to feel good again” as he prepared to make his fourth start back on Saturday.
“Just really never got fatigued the last game,” Montgomery said. “The other games I was kind of just struggling to catch a breath sometimes or heart rate was going quick.It took me a little bit to get back into it.”
Boone said the Yankees could potentially insert a sixth starter at some point during their seven-game homestand, likely in the four-game series against the Blue Jays that begins Monday.
The start could go to Luis Gil, the 23-year-old right-hander who did not allow a run in 15 ²/₃ innings across three starts while filling in for Gerrit Cole during his bout with COVID-19.
“That is a real possibility,” Boone said.
RHP Domingo German threw a bullpen session Friday as he continues to work back from the shoulder inflammation that has kept him on the injured list since Aug. 1. … The Yankees optioned OF Estevan Florial to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Gleyber Torres coming off the IL.