ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Domingo German began a rehab mission Wednesday with three scoreless innings in a start for Single-A Tampa as he returns from a right shoulder impingement that sidelined him since practice at the spring.
“It’s a big game,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of German’s exit.
Provided there are no injury setbacks, the German will have to be listed in 30 days. It could serve as a rotational or pitching depth out of the bullpen.
Right-hander Albert Abreu, claimed off waivers Tuesday by the Royals, is expected to be on the roster Thursday, Boone said.
The Yankees will have to make a corresponding move and remove a pitcher from the roster before Abreu returns.
Clarke Schmidt and Ron Marinaccio are among the relievers who still have options in the minor leagues.
The Yankees also announced that Aroldis Chapman will participate in a rehab game with Double-A Somerset this weekend.
With the imminent addition of Abreu and Chapman, the bullpen could soon look significantly different. The Yankees have not determined how they will use the German once he returns.
Right-hander Ryan Weber returned to the Yankees on a minor league contract. He had elected free will after being nominated for an assignment last week.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa returned to the lineup Wednesday night for the first time since experiencing left hamstring strain on Saturday. He reached base twice in the 5-4 win over the Rays.
The Yankees had been careful bringing Kiner-Falefa back while playing on the unforgiving artificial turf at Tropicana Field, using Marwin Gonzalez and Gleyber Torres in his place.
Boone said there were no lingering concerns about the injury.
“There will be one day [off again] on this section before the next day off [on July 4],” he said. “I guess he’ll bounce back well.”
Kiner-Falefa was hitting better before the injury, going 10 for 27 with three doubles and six RBIs in his previous seven games, good for an .874 OPS.
The Yankees face left-hander Framber Valdez when they open a series against the Astros Thursday at the stadium, so Boone wanted to get as many left-handed swingers in the lineup as possible on Wednesday against Rays right-hander Shane Baz.
It meant Matt Carpenter in the starting lineup for just the fourth time since June 3 – and at first base for the first time this year. It went 1 for 3.
Aaron Hicks, who showed signs of life at the plate, going 6 for 15 with a double, a triple and four RBIs on a four-game streak before going hitless on Tuesday, did not start (he is came in for defense in the eighth inning), but would likely play Thursday, according to Boone.
Joey Gallo was also in the lineup and extended his recent funk to 0 for 10 with six strikeouts and four walks in his last five games.
Torres, who also did not start, retired as a pinch hitter for Carpenter and then retired again. He had been 8 for 20 with five doubles and a home run in his previous five games.