Joey Gallo misses start with groin issue; Miguel Andujar plays left field￼
Joey Gallo was not in the Yankees’ starting lineup on Sunday. (FRANK FRANKLIN II/AP)
KANSAS CITY — Joey Gallo ran and tested his tight groin on Sunday morning and said he felt “good,” but the left fielder was not in the starting lineup for the series finale against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
“He’s kind of working through and getting treatment today,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “When he left last night, he felt pretty good. Right now he’s day to day and kind of see where he is as he kind of goes through treatment and getting loose and everything today.”
Gallo said that Monday would be a “good day to see,” if he could play, but was not sure when he would be back in the lineup.
After Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Royals, Boone said Gallo was still “tender.”
BACK TO 26
The Yankees sent right-hander Clarke Schmidt and infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar to Triple-A after Sunday’s game to get their roster back to 26. MLB had allowed teams to carry 28 players through April 30 to accommodate for the lockout-shortened spring training.
Schmidt, who pitched a scoreless inning and picked up his second win Sunday, said he was surprised to be the odd man out of the bullpen.
“Yeah, it’s a real tough pill to swallow. I mean, it’s just tough. There’s no easy way to put it. Especially like you said, I’ve been throwing well, I’ve been feeling well, I am comfortable, I’ve been doing my job getting guys out,” Schmidt said. “It’s just I guess it’s part of the game. It’s a business also. So hopefully they get me back up here soon. And it’s just real tough.”
Schmidt began the season with the Yankees, made four appearances and pitched to a 1.08 ERA with eight strikeouts over 8.1 innings pitched. He said the plan right now is for him to go get stretched out.
Andujar, who has been the odd man out since losing his starting third base job when he was injured in 2019, made his first start since being called up on Tuesday. He went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
“He’s in such a better place than he’s been the last couple years. He’s been ready the whole time. He had a huge impact too (Sunday). He was battle, battle, battle to get on base and another hit off the tough righty there later. So, I know it’s not easy for him right now, but I feel like his mindset is really good right now,” Boone said. “He’s just trying to be the best player he can be and it feels like physically he’s going to a really good space right now. “
The Dominican native had a huge offensive season as a rookie in 2018, batting .297/.328/.527 with an .855 OPS with 47 doubles, 27 homers and 92 RBI. He finished as a runner-up to Shohei Ohtani in the Rookie of the Year voting.
And then he injured his shoulder, the Yankees brought up Gio Urshela to be their everyday third baseman and Andujar was left looking for a spot.
That has affected his offense.
Since that breakout rookie season, he hit .228 with seven homers and 18 RBI in 78 games from 2019 to last season. He was sent to the minor at the end of spring training.
It hasn’t been easy, but Aroldis Chapman has gotten the job done. In six save opportunities this season, he has converted all six. Sunday, he picked up his 150th in a Yankee uniform.
Trying to protect a two-run lead, Chapman gave up a two-out single to Nicky Lopez and then walked Whit Merrifield, before coaxing a ground out from Andrew Benintendi to end the game.
“It hasn’t been perfect. But yeah, he hasn’t allowed to run yet obviously. He’s finding a way to get it done and making pitches when he needs to,” Boone said. “He’s leaning on all three of (of his pitches). The fastball. slider and splitter have all been a factor for him. And he’s navigating it pretty well.”
Boone said he wasn’t concerned about the number of baserunners the 34-year old closer has had in those opportunities.
“The bottom line is he’s slamming the door.”