Yankees not fearing the worst with Gio Urshela


Gio Urshela was doing “much better” on Saturday, manager Aaron Boone said, two days after the third baseman injured his left knee and had an MRI exam that showed no structural damage.

Still, he remained out of Saturday’s lineup against the Nationals. Boone had yet to determine whether Urshela would be back Sunday or if he would need a few more days before returning in the series against the Rays, which begins Tuesday.

“I continue to be optimistic that this is a day-to-day thing,” Boone said before the Yankees faced Max Scherzer at Yankee Stadium. “Whether he’s in there [Sunday] or the first day in Tampa, we’ll see how he gets through today and what he’s able to do. But he’s doing a lot better and still looking like a day-to-day thing.”

DJ LeMahieu got his second straight start at third base Saturday in Urshela’s absence. The Yankees also called up Miguel Andujar on Friday for extra position player depth. Andujar started Friday at first base, but was not in Saturday’s lineup, with Mike Ford back at first.

Gio Urshela
Gio Urshela
Corey Sipkin

Luke Voit is inching closer to his Yankees return.

The first baseman, coming back from surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus, was scheduled to play seven innings in the field Saturday with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being the DH on Sunday.

“Potentially could be with us early in the week,” Boone said.

Entering Saturday, Voit was 4-for-9 with a home run in three rehab games.

Zack Britton may not be far off from going out on a rehab assignment of his own. The left-handed reliever, who had surgery in March to remove a bone chip from his elbow, threw a bullpen session Friday with sliders and is set to throw another one Tuesday. He is then scheduled to throw his first simulated game next Saturday and will start a rehab assignment after that, if all goes according to plan.

Britton is on the 60-day injured list, meaning he is not eligible to be activated until May 31.

RHP Clarke Schmidt (elbow strain), meanwhile, is still building up arm strength, throwing from 90-to-100-plus feet, Boone said. He has yet to get on the mound.

Clint Frazier, whose body bore the brunt of a highlight-reel diving catch in left field Friday night, was feeling good enough to be back in the lineup Saturday.

“From my vantage point, to see the kind of break he got on the ball, to see how he tracked it, to see how he laid out, I thought it was a really special play,” Boone said. “He hit the ground pretty hard obviously. When that ball went off the bat, I thought, ‘That’s a gapper.’ For him to be able to close on it, lay out and make that play — I think the play in Cleveland got a lot of talk, this play to me was actually significantly better.”

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Janice Hill

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