Yankees could get boost with Corey Kluber nearing return


ATLANTA — Suddenly, the Yankees have rotation depth. 

Luis Gil started Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre despite having not allowed a run in three starts with the Yankees, tossing 15 2/3 scoreless innings

“We have five guys in the rotation making starts right now,’’ manager Aaron Boone said of the decision to have Gil in the minors after he was skipped following Sunday’s rainout in The Bronx. 

“We’d have to get rid of one of them to have him [pitch]. I don’t know if that’s the smartest thing to do right now, especially since we’ve been getting a lot of really good starts.” 

The rotation might get some more help soon. Corey Kluber started for Double-A Somerset on Tuesday and Boone suggested he could rejoin the rotation soon after being sidelined since May with a strained right shoulder. 

Corey Kluber
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Domingo German, out with right shoulder inflammation, threw Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session over the weekend, but Boone said it was unclear what his role would be if and when he returns. 

“We’ll see what our needs are,’’ Boone said. “Right now, we’ve got five starters and Kluber is getting ready to be back in the mix. They’re good problems to have, but there are things we have to sort through.” 

Michael King, out with a middle finger contusion, is also getting closer to his return. 

As for Gil, Boone said he “came up here and pitched well for us, but he’s going through growing pains at the minor league level. It’s important to build on his consistency to reach the level we all think he can get to.” 

Gio Urshela (left hamstring strain) started another rehab game with Double-A Somerset on Tuesday and is expected to be back with the Yankees when they open their series at Oakland on Thursday. 

Gleyber Torres (thumb) is working out at Somerset “ramping up swing progressions and hitting on the field,” Boone said. 

He could be sent on a rehab assignment for his strained left thumb following the weekend. 

Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres
Jason Szenes for the NY Post

Asked if he was concerned the return of some players may throw off the Yankees and their recent surge, Boone said: “No. Guys have trickled back in during this streak. We’ve been playing well for well over a month. Guys have come in and come out. More good people on deck and on board, we’ll take that.” 

Aaron Judge has swiped four bases since Aug. 15, in addition to occasionally playing center field. 

“That’s him being in a good spot physically,’’ Boone said of Judge, who dealt with lower body soreness during much of the first half of the season. “He’s feeling better moving on the bases.” 

Gary Sanchez’s defense has been much less of an issue this season and Boone said he’s seen “big-time growth” from the catcher. 

“He’s a much better receiver,’’ Boone said. “He’s gaining more strikes probably than he ever has.” 

Boone added he believes Sanchez has improved at blocking balls and in game-planning. 

“I feel like he really knows how to work now,’’ Boone said, noting the balance catchers need to strike because it’s a demanding position.

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