Most of today’s pregame media session with manager Buck Showalter centered on injury updates and pointing out again that shortstop Manny Machado is really good and hasn’t let distractions ruin his game.
Showalter remains confident that Alex Cobb will make his next start after leaving yesterday’s game in Minnesota with a blister on his right index finger.
“It’s more of a deep callus underneath,” Showalter said. “Once they kind of cleaned it up and everything, he was fine. Like I said yesterday, it was more like having a pebble in your shoe.”
Reliever Darren O’Day remains scheduled to undergo hamstring surgery Thursday in Baltimore. Rule 5 reliever Pedro Araujo (elbow) is throwing on flat ground. Left-hander Richard Bleier (lat) is undergoing physical therapy in Sarasota.
Outfielder Craig Gentry, who had a fractured rib on his left side, is headed to Sarasota and getting close to starting baseball activities.
“Improving symptoms,” Showalter said. “They want him to be there when he starts baseball activities. I don’t think that’s too far away.”
Infielder Steve Wilkerson also is in Sarasota and improving “little by little” from his strained oblique, according to Showalter.
Showalter doesn’t anticipate any between-games roster moves today. Jimmy Yacabonis will be returned to Triple-A Norfolk later tonight after serving as the 26th man.
Machado confirmed that he won’t participate in the Home Run Derby next Monday that’s part of the All-Star Game festivities.
A media scrum formed at Machado’s locker this afternoon and he fielded the same questions about being the starting shortstop for the American League and all of the trade rumors that continue to envelop him but don’t chip away at his focus.
“Everywhere I see, it’s just Manny, Manny, Manny,” he said. “It kind of gets a little distracting at times, but it’s just a matter of trying to let it all out once I step in this clubhouse.
“I’m just a ballplayer trying to win and be myself and have fun. I love this game so much. Want to go out there every day and put on a show and try to be the best player I can out there.”
Machado returned to shortstop, his natural position, and garnered the most votes at the position. He’s headed to his fourth All-Star Game, his second as a starter, while unsure whether he’s going to be traded before July 17.
Showalter said Machado has handled the situation in typical fashion. It’s not like he’s a total stranger to adversity.
“Real well,” Showalter said. “He actually thrives on it. If you look at all the things that have brought attention on him, very few self-inflicted - some fake drama, throw at people and all the other stuff that, you go through it with the road media and all the different things - if you look at his response to all of it, it’s been very much like this first half-plus of the season.
“I knew that coming into the season, what playing shortstop was going to mean to him. We were at that time hoping to put our best foot forward and try to make use of having a player like Manny on your club. Trying to create a situation where you get the most out of him, which has happened. It’s remarkable, with some of the struggles of our club offensively, that he’s got some of the offensive numbers he does. You think about his conversion of opportunities, a pretty high rate. But, actually, I think it’s right in his wheelhouse more than anything else.
“Of course, it’s real easy to handle stuff like that when you’re as talented as he is. I’ve never seen him mentally or emotionally beat in a game. The more it gets like that, it seems the better he responds.”
Showalter tries to provide distance between himself and the trade talks inside the warehouse. He hears snippets and returns his focus to the current 25-man roster.
The Orioles are sellers for a change at the non-waiver deadline, but Showalter flips it and points out how players under that scenario would be joining the organization.
“I’d very much like to be adding and we feel like potentially we will add. Really well,” he said. “You look at it either way. You’re just adding for a different purpose and subtracting for a different purpose. And I think there’s a great opportunity here in a lot of ways. But we know what a false deadline the end of this month is.
“I think it’s got some similarities. Just for a different end game.”
The Yankees have 10 relievers in their bullpen today, so manager Aaron Boone can play matchups until he’s exhausted.
For the Yankees
Aaron Hicks CF
Aaron Judge RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Clint Frazier LF
Neil Walker 1B
Brandon Drury 3B
Kyle Higashioka C
Tyler Wade 2B
CC Sabathia LHP
Update: Giancarlo Stanton led off the top of the second inning with a home run to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Two more runs scored in the third on RBI singles by Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius.
Update II: Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the fourth after Machado’s double to reduce the lead to 3-2.
Update III: Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer off CC Sabathia in the sixth, ending an 0-for-25 drought and giving the Orioles a 5-4 lead. The Yankees had scored a run off Mike Wright Jr. in the top half of the inning on Neil Walker’s RBI single.