Yankees’ Gleyber Torres set for rehab assignment with Somerset

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OAKLAND — The final missing piece of the Yankees’ infield is finally playing baseball again.

Instead of wearing “NEW YORK” across his chest, though, Gleyber Torres (sprained thumb) will be sporting the Somerset Patriots jersey for the next few days. The Yankees’ shortstop, who has not played since Aug. 8 against the Mariners, is set to begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Sunday evening.

“If all goes well there he’ll play again [for Somerset] on Tuesday, Wednesday,” manager Aaron Boone said during his Sunday pregame interview. “I think we’ll see him when we get back.”

Even when healthy, Torres never seemed to get out of the malaise that first hit him in 2020. That season, he hit .243/.356/.368 and has followed it with a .253/.328/.351 line this season.

After hitting 24 home runs as a rookie and 38 as a sophomore — shattering the Yankees’ single-season record for homers by a shortstop — his power has been completely zapped. Torres has nine home runs in 567 plate combined plate appearances over 2020 and 2021.

All signs point to him getting a chance to turn things around in front of the home crowd at Yankee Stadium.

“I think he’ll be in play for us on Friday,” Boone revealed. “If everything goes well, that’s the plan.”

GIL RELATIVELY ROUGHED UP

Luis Gil also put some work in at a minor league stadium on Sunday. While he did not get the start for Triple-A Scranton, Gil handled a sizable chunk of the game. On Saturday, Boone laid out the plan for Gil and said he could end up in many different roles during the season’s final month.

“He’s going to go his full starter allotment, we’re just going to put a reliever in front of him,” Boone said. “We want him to pitch like a starter but we also want to see what it’s like for him coming out of the pen. We want to make sure he’s still getting a starter’s workload, just with a different routine.”

Gil was fine if unspectacular on Sunday. In 4.2 innings of long relief with the RailRiders, the 23-year-old struck out seven but opened the turnstile for three earned runs. In three spot starts for the Yankees earlier this month, Gil held that turnstile completely shut, keeping Baltimore, Seattle, and Boston from scoring against him in 15.2 innings.

“We want him to go out there and log innings,” Boone said. “We understand this is a guy who’s still developing. He’s certainly in the mix for us moving forward.”

That was not the most eventful part of the game though, as Scranton catcher Max McDowell charged the mound after being hit in the head with a pitch.

NASTY NESTOR’S T-SHIRTS

Customized t-shirts are a regular sight during major league batting practices, as common as fungo bats and L-screens. The Yankees’ recent designs have included references to their new Italian delegation, a gray top emblazoned with “Gallo & Rizzo’s Hot Bats: Feasting on Meatballs Daily” and the pinched finger, a universal sign of Italian heritage.

A new shirt has flown off the racks and onto the Yankees’ torsos recently. Nestor Cortes Jr., the mustachioed pitcher who bears a striking resemblance to a certain video game plumber, has gotten a shirt of his own.

“It’s Mario themed. I think everybody loves Mario,” a beaming Cortes said on Friday. “I’m happy that people are wearing my shirt. It’s a dream come true, honestly. When they make a shirt in the big leagues, and you’re on the shirt, it’s like, you made it.”

One creatively inclined fan even took the liberty of making a video that puts the man affectionately known as Nasty Nestor in the beloved video game.

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