Though he was exiled from the Yankees rotation in July, the Yankees will start RHP Sonny Gray for Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins to give other starting pitchers extra rest.
Gray, who last started Game 2 of a doubleheader on Aug. 25, is 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last four outings, allowing two runs, 13 hits and six walks in 15 2/3 innings. In his last start, he threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles.
By having Gray start Tuesday, it pushes Luis Severino to Wednesday and Masahiro Tanaka to Friday. The strategy also would allow for Severino to face the Red Sox twice as the regular season nears its end.
"We felt it buys everybody a little bit of rest at this time of the [year]. It actually buys [Tanaka] a couple of extra days," Boone said, according to the New York Post's George A. King III. "With the couple of off days coming up, it is a chance to get everyone back-to-back turns, an extra day here and there, that will hopefully show its effects at the end of the season and on into the postseason."
Overall, Gray has struggled immensely this season. Despite his 10-8 record, he owns a 4.96 ERA. And of his 22 starts, he has failed to throw five complete innings eight times.
He was taken out of the rotation for good after he allowed seven runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Orioles on Aug. 1, which was the seventh time this season in which he had allowed at least five runs in a game.
"I feel good. My outings may have had gaps in between them, but I can do whatever is needed," Gray said. "I feel like I am throwing the ball well and continue to take steps in the right direction.''
J.A. Happ will start the series opener against the Twins on Monday, while Lance Lynn and CC Sabathia will pitch next Saturday and Sunday, respectively, against the Blue Jays. When the Yankees begin a three-game set with the Red Sox on Sept. 18, they will send Happ, Severino and Tanaka to the mound.