The Yankees got Jonathan Loaisiga and Nestor Cortes back from the COVID-19 injured list on Friday and more help is on the way heading into the weekend.
Third baseman Gio Urshela is back with the club, participating in pregame workouts in Boston on Friday. According to manager Aaron Boone, the defensive wizard will likely be back in the lineup before New York finishes their four-game set against the Red Sox.
While Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka aren't quite ready to rejoin the team, the expectation is they will link up with the Bombers in Boston, flying with the club to their next stop on this three-city road trip.
"Higgy and Aaron are scheduled to come up here Sunday and fly with us to Tampa and they'll get their work up down in Tampa and have a workout day Monday in Tampa," Boone said.
If all goes well on Monday—an off day for the Yankees—New York could have all three of those position players available as they kick off a three-game set with the Rays at Tropicana Field.
The only other player that would still remain on the COVID-19 list is left-hander Wandy Peralta. Boone revealed that the reliever has already been ramping up in a throwing program, working out in the Bronx while the Yankees have been on the road.
Considering Peralta just came back from a stint on the injured list (with a back strain), however, the Yankees' skipper said the southpaw may need to work through a rehab assignment before returning to the big leagues.
"If you remember, he only had one outing coming off the last IL trip and then going on to COVID," Boone explained. "So we'll see if he needs maybe a little rehab outing as he works his way back."
As much as the folks called up from Triple-A in wake of New York's COVID outbreak have provided a spark since the All-Star break, that energy is beginning to wear off between the lines. The Yankees managed just two runs on Friday night in a second straight loss to the Sox. The reserves that touched the field—Greg Allen, Rob Brantly, Estevan Florial, Chris Gittens, Ryan LaMarre—combined to go 1-for-12 with six strikeouts.
Throughout the first half of the season, Judge—an All-Star—was this team's most consistent and dangerous contributor at the plate, with Urshela not to far behind him in several statistical categories. It's safe to say their presence in the lineup can't come soon enough, especially with another crucial series on the horizon.
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