With Domingo Germán going on the restricted list to treat alcohol abuse on Wednesday, the Yankees’ pitching plans for the rest of the week were up in the air prior to the announcement, which came at the six o’clock hour.
“If you guys know something, let me know,” Luis Severino, who believed he was starting Friday against the Astros, told reporters.
Indeed, Severino — fresh off another disastrous outing — is going to start on Friday, Aaron Boone said. The right-hander, searching for answers, threw a bullpen on Wednesday under the supervision of Matt Blake and Andy Pettitte.
Clarke Schmidt will start Thursday’s series opener against Houston, but the Yankees’ Saturday and Sunday pitching plans are still up in the air.
Rather than making one last rehab start in Scranton on Wednesday as scheduled, Nestor Cortes is going to start for the Yankees this weekend against the Astros. The lefty, returning from a rotator cuff strain, and Aaron Boone weren’t sure which day, though the manager expected to know by the end of the day Wednesday.
Cortes and Boone spoke before the Germán news was announced.
“They told me sometime this weekend,” Cortes said. “I can’t give you an exact date right now. I guess they’re trying to figure out what day is best for me to go.”
Out since May 30, Cortes didn’t pitch particularly well before getting hurt, recording a 5.16 ERA over 11 starts. An All-Star in 2022, he had trouble at the end of games, and his shoulder ultimately had a difficult time recovering between starts. That hasn’t been an issue during the rehab process, though.
“I’ve felt good” Cortes said. “It’s more of a building up process that we were kind of against. So as far as health, I’m ready to go.”
Cortes, who’ll throw a bullpen on Thursday, will only throw around 60 pitches when he starts over the weekend. He joked he could get through seven innings if he’s economical.
“Been on the shelf too long,” Cortes said. “So I want to come back and obviously show who I am and be back to the same form that I was, so I’m excited for this weekend.”
Anthony Rizzo, who has looked lost at the plate for two months, wasn’t in the Yankees’ Wednesday lineup. When asked if he’s considered giving the first baseman a few days off to reset, Boone said, “There’s been a lot of thoughts to a lot of things with Rizz.”
Boone has already benched other veterans, such as DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson, for multiple days at a time this season. Rizzo is slashing .172/.271/.225 with one home run and nine RBI over 46 games since June began.
THE POSSIBILITY OF PEREIRA
With the Yankees failing to add before Tuesday’s trade deadline, Brian Cashman was asked if any prospects could help the big league club before the season ends. The general manager said “we’ll see” before briefly mentioning Everson Pereira.
Pereira, one of the Yankees’ top prospects, is having an excellent season in the minors. The 22-year-old hit .291/.362/.546 with 10 homers and 31 RBI over 46 games at Double-A Somerset before earning a promotion. Entering Wednesday, he was slashing .329/.368/.573 with five dingers and 22 RBI over 19 games at Triple-A.
Jonathan Loáisiga (bone spur) was scheduled to pitch in Scranton on Wednesday. The next step would be another rehab outing on Friday. From there, the right-handed reliever could rejoin the Yankees on their upcoming trip to Chicago, per Boone.
Loáisiga, expected to be a key bullpen piece this season, has been out since April 5. He’s only made three appearances this season.
The Yankees announced Wednesday that Willie Calhoun elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment. The Triple-A RailRiders’ transactions page recently listed the DH/outfielder as outrighted to Triple-A.