BALTIMORE — Gleyber Torres may not be out as long as the Yankees initially feared following his positive COVID-19 case.
After believing he would be out at least 10 days while on the COVID-19 injured list, manager Aaron Boone said Friday that the shortstop could be back “sooner. He could be back real soon. I don’t have any more right now.”
The joint committee that reviews each case can allow a player to return before 10 days are up if that player is asymptomatic and receives multiple negative test results.
Boone sounded confident the team could soon be able to move beyond its issues with COVID-19, which resulted in eight cases (Torres, third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits and pitching coach Matt Blake, as well as four unnamed support staff members of the traveling party).
“The good news is [we had] another day of negatives,’’ Boone said of the team’s test results. “I don’t want to say we’re in the clear ever again, but it’s a good sign we’ve had a couple days of negative results.’’
The Yankees survived two bizarre plays in Friday’s 5-4 win. Clint Frazier was forced out at second on what should have been a single to left by Brett Gardner in the fourth inning. Frazier thought center fielder Cedric Mullins had made a diving catch and headed back to first, allowing left fielder Austin Hays to throw him out at second.
“In that situation, where the guy is going away from you and laying out like that, if you’re uncertain, find the ball because you don’t have to get back so fast,’’ Boone said.
And in the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees challenged a play at second base when DJ Stewart was called safe after Tyler Wade clearly dropped the ball.
The COVID-19 outbreak among the coaching staff has impacted roles and altered the review process.
“It’s a different setup right now,’’ Boone said. “We just thought [Wade] hung on long enough.
Zack Britton (elbow surgery) will pitch a simulated game Saturday, according to Boone.
The left-hander is on track to join the team when he’s eligible to come off the 60-day IL in early June.
If all goes well in Saturday’s session, Britton could begin a rehab assignment soon.
Luis Severino’s progress in his comeback from Tommy John surgery remains on track, a day after he faced hitters for the first time since last year’s procedure.
Boone watched video of the session and was encouraged.
“He looked really good,’’ Boone said. “He was holding his velocity. … He looked really healthy on the mound. You could tell he feels good. It was a really good step for him.”
Boone added he considered Severino to be “sort of at the start of spring training.”
Rougned Odor, sidelined with a left knee sprain, will do some baseball activities this weekend at Camden Yards to see if he’ll be able to come off the IL in time for the start of the Yankees’ next series, at Texas, which begins Monday.
“We’ll see how he does,’’ Boone said.
Injuries have opened the door again for Miguel Andujar, who entered Friday still looking for his first hit.
“I think he’s getting settled,’’ Boone said of Andujar, who hasn’t been able to regain the form he had in his breakout season of 2018.
Andujar then went out and delivered a single to spark the Yankees’ comeback in the seventh.