CHICAGO — Clarke Schmidt had yet another solid start Tuesday for the Yankees, but after that, their rotation for the rest of the week remained very much up in the air.
Wednesday is Luis Severino’s scheduled day to start, and on Tuesday afternoon, manager Aaron Boone said the struggling right-hander was still set to do so “as of now.”
Then, after a 7-1 win over the White Sox, Boone said the Yankees were about to discuss how they wanted to handle the series finale.
“We’re considering everything,” Boone said.
With a relatively fresh relief corps and a day off looming on Thursday, the Yankees could skip Severino and go with a bullpen game instead.
They could use an opener ahead of Severino, who has a 13.85 ERA in the first inning, or they could call up a fully rested Randy Vasquez from Triple-A to make a spot start, though he has been expected to take Carlos Rodon’s spot in the rotation.
The Yankees also were still trying to figure out how they wanted to handle their three-game series at Miami, which will begin Friday.
Nestor Cortes would be on an extra day’s rest to start the series opener against the Marlins, but Boone said the Yankees might push him to Saturday.
Cortes, who was activated off the 60-day injured list and threw four strong innings last Saturday, appears to have come out of it OK. When he landed on the IL in June, his main issue was being able to bounce back physically between starts.
“I mean, he’s been sore. I think normal soreness,” Boone said. “But he definitely knows he pitched and pitched in a competitive game. Hopefully that’s a good thing. So hopefully we work him through and get him ready to go for his next one this weekend.”
Cortes will still be on a pitch count as he builds up his workload.
Between that limit, Severino’s tendency for abbreviated outings lately and Vasquez only having thrown 15 ¹/₃ innings across three career MLB starts, the Yankees may be balancing when to slot each of them in depending on how fresh the bullpen is.
Aaron Judge hit a home run and walked three times as the DH on Tuesday night after he started in right field on Monday.
Boone said the reigning AL MVP has been coming through games “pretty well” despite not being 100 percent because of the toe injury he is playing through.
“He’s definitely had some days of soreness and dealing with it, but I do feel like it’s steadily gotten better, which has been good to see,” Boone said. “I think he’s moved around the bases pretty well. Obviously getting him out in the field again [Monday] night went well. I think overall, it’s gone pretty well. We continue to play close attention to it.”
Asked if toe surgery might be needed in the offseason, Boone said he was unsure.
“I don’t necessarily think so, but I don’t know,” he said.
Ben Rortvedt started at catcher over Kyle Higashioka for the second straight game and the fifth time in the last seven games. Higashioka pinch-hit for Rortvedt against lefty reliever Tanner Banks in the eighth inning and delivered a two-run homer.
“I would say it’s a shared thing,” Boone said of the catcher spot, adding that Higashioka would likely start the next two games.
A day after former Steelers coach Bill Cowher was a guest during batting practice at Guaranteed Rate Field, Hall of Famer Jim Thome was in attendance and spent time talking to Yankees staff and players behind the cage.