The injury-plagued Yankees could welcome Gary Sanchez back to the lineup as soon as Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Sunday (link via Newsday’s Laura Albanese). He’ll suit up for a rehab game with Class-A Charleston today, and barring any kind of setback, that’ll line him up for a midweek return against the Halos. Boone spoke optimistically but also vaguely about injured regulars Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton and Troy Tulowitzki, declining to put a specific timetable on any of the bunch.
Here’s a look around the division…
- The Orioles, who hold the No. 1 overall pick in this June’s draft, currently are considering high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman but haven’t made any firm decisions as to who they’ll take, per MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubtako. It’s of course worth noting that with more than a month to go until the draft, a different player could soar up the pre-draft rankings and thrust himself into the mix for the top selection. Similarly, a currently projected top pick could still give teams cause for concern and/or incur an injury. Both Rutschman and Witt were pegged as top-three overall picks in the first of what will be several mock drafts over at Baseball America, where Rutschman was projected to go to Baltimore.
- The Red Sox expect to stick with internal options in the rotation following Nathan Eovaldi’s injury, writes Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. Hector Velazquez will be the leading candidate to step into the rotation, though Marcus Walden could also be an option. Manager Alex Cora downplayed the possibility of opting for a bullpen day in place of Eovaldi, voicing a clear preference for someone who can go out and pitch at least five innings. If the Sox want to go with a nonroster option, Cotillo notes that righty Erasmo Ramirez could again be selected (he’s already cleared waivers following last week’s DFA and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket).
- With Matt Shoemaker down for the season due to an ACL tear, the Blue Jays are weighing options to replace him in the rotation, writes Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. The top traditional starting pitching candidates look to be righty Sam Gaviglio (who made 24 starts for Toronto a year ago), lefty Thomas Pannone, right-hander Sean Reid-Foley and right-hander Jacob Waguespack. However, the Jays could also more creatively look to deploy an opener — a strategy with which skipper Charlie Montoyo is quite familiar from his time in Tampa Bay. In that instance, someone such as Gaviglio or Pannone could handle multiple innings in relief of an opener, thus shielding the team’s weakest starter from the opposing lineup’s most dangerous hitters the first time through the order. For now, the Jays have several off-days looming on the schedule, limiting their need for a fifth starter and lessening the urgency of the decision.