ANAHEIM — The Yankees took a loss Monday night, but there was a very encouraging sign. Clay Holmes came off the injured list and threw a scoreless inning. More than that, Holmes looked more like himself with better command of the sinker.
“Really good. It was encouraging,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I was prepared to close with him, but then once we were in that situation, it was kind of the right part. I thought he threw the ball really well. It was good to see him come in and pound the zone like that.”
Holmes went on the IL with a lower back issue, which he said did not affect him. But in his last 11 appearances before going on the IL, Holmes was struggling. In his first 38 games, Holmes pitched to a 0.46 ERA, walking six in 39.1 innings pitched. Over his last 11 appearances before going on the IL, he allowed 11 earned runs and walked 10 in 9.2 innings.
Monday night, Holmes had command of his sinker again.
“I think the main thing is it just feels like it’s pretty easy just to get up front with it and I know when I do that, the action takes care of itself and I tend to pound the zone a lot more,” Holmes said. “Yeah, sinker felt good. I can throw it for strikes early. It makes things a lot easier for me.”
Holmes’ struggles cost him the title of Yankees closer, but Boone is hoping to get him back to it with some consistent results.
“We’ll see,” Boone said. “I was prepared to do anything with Clay and I wanted to get him in there. I wasn’t gonna force him in there necessarily, but I felt like close enough there in the game and that spot. . . I felt like it was a good time to get him in there. I’m glad we did. I thought he looked really good.”
Jose Trevino, who missed two games after being hit in his right big toe in Oakland, was out again after playing Monday’s game.
“Jose, actually today came in a little bit better. I think he was beat up and dealing with it last night a little bit was my sense. That’s kind of why I went to them after, I felt like I wanted to give him today (off),” Boone said. “Hopefully I have him in there (Wednesday) and then obviously the off day.”
EFFROSS STARTING HIS WAY BACK
Scott Effross, who went on the IL with a right shoulder strain just over a week ago, is getting ready to start throwing.
“He is probably any day from starting,” Boone said. “I’m hoping tomorrow or the next day. He’s feeling really good and feeling like he’s ready to go.”
After missing 10 days, Boone said it will probably take that long to get him ramped back up.
Effross, who the Yankees acquired from the Cubs, had established himself quickly with the Yankees. He made eight appearances, allowing three earned runs and striking out eight over 8.1 innings.
BRITTON BACK ON THE BUMP
Zack Britton, who left a rehab game with a glute strain, is expected to throw a bullpen on Thursday. If that goes well, Britton, who is working his way back from October elbow reconstruction surgery, will pitch in another rehab game on Saturday, Boone said.
Boone said there has been no decisions made yet on the September call-ups. The new collective bargaining agreement limits the call-ups to two, one pitcher and one position player. . . Harrison Bader, the center fielder with plantar fasciitis the Yankees acquired for Jordan Montgomery last month, has begun hitting. Boone said he was in “the 10-day ramp up,” before starting rehab games. . . Matt Carpenter, on the IL with a fractured foot, is back in Texas and has not had the re-imaging of his foot yet.