Yankees surprised they’re not playing on Fourth of July
CLEVELAND — The fact the Yankees are off on Monday is not unusual. What makes it odd is the fact it’s the Fourth of July.
“It’s weird,’’ DJ LeMahieu said of not having a game on the holiday. “It feels like we should be playing. You’re supposed to play on the Fourth of July. I was very surprised when I saw the schedule.”
But after 20 games in 20 days, LeMahieu wasn’t complaining: “I’ll take the off day.”
They’ll spend it in Pittsburgh, where they open a series against the Pirates on Tuesday.
It comes after the Yankees also didn’t have a game on Memorial Day.
Aaron Boone added it was “definitely” strange not to play, but agreed with LeMahieu about relishing the rare off day.
“We’re all very much looking forward to a day off,’’ the manager said. “It’s a long time coming … guys can recharge their batteries.’’DJ LeMahieu USA TODAY Sports
Aroldis Chapman didn’t pitch Sunday after he walked all three batters he faced in his return on Saturday. Boone said he wanted to get the lefty back in there again soon.
“Physically, he’s in a pretty good spot and the work we’re seeing has been good,’’ Boone said after the Yankees’ 2-0 loss to the Guardians. “Now it’s getting him over the hump of having it translate onto the field.”
Another key cog in the bullpen who has missed time, Jonathan Loaisiga, threw a 20-pitch live batting-practice session in Tampa on Saturday that “went well.”
Boone said Loaisiga could be close to beginning a rehab assignment. He’s been out since May 23 with right shoulder impingement.
Stephen Ridings, who pitched in five games last August — with four scoreless appearances — remains out, also with right shoulder impingement.
Boone said the right-hander hasn’t been able to throw off a mound. He is on the 60-day IL.
Ben Rortvedt, part of the trade that sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota, has returned to some action following the meniscus surgery he underwent on his left knee in May.
Rortvedt had previously missed time with an oblique injury that kept him out during spring training.
Boone said the 24-year-old, acquired before the Yankees traded with Texas for Jose Trevino, is “probably getting close to being ready for some game action.”
Estevan Florial’s future might not be with the Yankees, but he could be improving his trade stock.
In his previous five games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre heading into Sunday, the outfielder was 9-for-16 with four doubles and four homers, to go along with four walks and three strikeouts.
“He’s playing really well,’’ Boone said. “It’s good to see him put together a real strong season. We know he’s talented, love the makeup. It’s good to see him have a good, strong season with Triple-A.”
Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been mostly solid at shortstop this season, but he made a throwing error on a routine play in the third on Sunday.
“I know it’s been frustrating for him, with a couple of errors this year that he feels, certainly, he should make,’’ Boone said. “He knows how good he is and how good he’s been for us. … I don’t think they’re mental lapses. No one is as locked-in as he is. He’s had a few more mistakes than usual for him. I don’t think it’s a [sign] of what’s to come.”