Sports

Yankees’ Gleyber Torres almost done with COVID-19 battle

ARLINGTON, Texas — Gleyber Torres’ COVID scare appears to be over.

The 24-year-old shortstop was cleared by Major League Baseball’s joint committee on Tuesday and was expected to rejoin the team Tuesday night, with the possibility of being activated in time for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.

Manager Aaron Boone said Torres worked out at the team’s facility in Tampa both Monday and Tuesday, and could “potentially” be in the lineup Wednesday.

But that hardly means the Yankees are out of the woods.

Gary Sanchez left Tuesday’s 7-4 win over Texas with cramping in his left hamstring. He was replaced by Kyle Higashioka.

Boone said Sanchez seemed “fine” after the game and could be available Wednesday.

“Hopefully we avoided something there,’’ Boone said.

Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres
AP

And Aaron Hicks remains out with a torn sheath of his left wrist, with the possibility of surgery still firmly on the table. If the anti-inflammatories Hicks is on don’t work, a cortisone shot is not a consideration at this point — leaving surgery as a potential option.

“We haven’t come to a final conclusion of which way we’re gonna go,’’ Boone said before the game at Globe Life Field. “I think [surgery] would be in play if he’s not ready to go out and play.”

Surgery would knock Hicks out at least for a few months and could well end his season, though Boone said he was of the understanding Hicks might be able to return at some point this year.

“I wouldn’t want to say it’s definitely season-ending,’’ Boone said. “The early timeline would make it close.”

But since retired Mark Teixeira had a similar injury in 2013 that required surgery and he didn’t come back from that fully until well into the following season, a speedy recovery from Hicks seems unlikely.

“Missing our center fielder and a switch hitter and the balance that creates is a blow we’ve got to withstand and handle,’’ Boone said.

Torres last played on May 11 and is the only Yankees player to test positive during their recent COVID outbreak, which has affected nine members of the organization — including pitching coach Matt Blake, first base coach Reggie Willts and third base coach Phil Nevin, as well as five other members of the traveling party.

Boone said Torres is the only one of the nine that’s been cleared to rejoin the team, with the others remaining quarantined in Tampa and one in Baltimore.

Gio Urshela started at shortstop Tuesday, going 1-for-5 with two RBIs. Urshela and Tyler Wade have split time at short in Torres’ absence.

Torres has been among the Yankees that’s had a hard time getting going at the plate this season. He hit his first homer of the year on May 9 and played just one game after that.


After Zack Britton’s comeback from March elbow surgery was slowed by soreness, Boone said the left-hander was cleared by doctors to resume throwing.

“He checked out well,’’ Boone said of the left-hander, who is eligible to come off the 60-day IL in the beginning of June. “It was a normal, potential, bump you hit as you work back.”

Britton may play catch again Wednesday or Thursday before throwing another bullpen.

His rehab assignment had been scheduled to begin with Double-A Somerset on Wednesday, but that’s been pushed back.


Rougned Odor was activated off the 10-day IL Tuesday, in time to face his former team. He had two hits and made a pair of superb plays at second base.

“It’s weird being on the other side,’’ the second baseman said of playing against the team that designated him for assignment before Opening Day. “I just want to play my game.”

And he was relieved his left knee sprain wasn’t worse after the collision at the plate with Houston’s Martin Maldonado on May 4.

“It was tough,’’ Odor said of the injury. “Right away when it happened, it really hurt and I was scared. I never had a problem with my knees. … [But] it was nothing serious and now I’m ready to go.”

Odor took the roster spot of right-hander Albert Abreu, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after throwing three innings in Monday’s loss.

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