BALTIMORE — The first time Brandon Drury landed in the minor leagues this year was because of migraine headaches and blurry vision after being the Yankees’ Opening Day third baseman.
After a rehab stint, Drury was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because Miguel Andujar took possession of the third-base job with a live bat and improved defense.
Monday, Drury headed to SWB for a second time when he was optioned between games of a doubleheader against the Orioles at Camden Yards after going hitless in four at-bats in a 5-4 loss.
The move was made to get Luis Cessa, the second game starter, on the roster.
“Another one of those awful decisions. We just feel like [Aaron Hicks] is good and [Clint Frazier] covers us in the outfield and [Tyler] Wade gives us flexibility,’’ Aaron Boone said.
Hicks was removed from Saturday’s game with left leg cramps and didn’t play Sunday. He started in center field in the first game Monday.
Brought back to the big leagues June 29, Drury went 3-for-22 (.136).
“He is a big leaguer and doesn’t belong [in Triple-A], but unfortunately that is the situation right now,’’ the manager said of Drury.
Boone entered the first game of Monday’s doubleheader believing he had All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to work the ninth inning of one game.
“I plan on him being hot,’’ Boone said prior to the Yankees losing, 5-4, in the first game against the Orioles at Camden Yards in which Chapman did not pitch.
Chapman, who has converted 24 of 25 save chances and was named to the AL All-Star team on Sunday, left Saturday’s game in Toronto after feeling pain in his left knee when he finished his delivery. Chapman has had a problem with tendinitis in his knee since the middle of May, but it hasn’t bothered his performance as he has unleashed 104-mph fastballs and knee-buckling sliders that have led to a 1.42 ERA in 39 games.
Considering how valuable the lefty is to the Yankees’ hunt for an AL East title and how deep the Yankees’ bullpen is, would the club consider putting Chapman on the 10-day disabled list to see if the pain subsides?
“We have not yet talked about that. It is something I am sure we will always kick around and lean on him,’’ said Boone, who used David Robertson to close Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays. “I have been through something similar and it’s kind of a pain thing. From a structural standpoint how it affects what you are doing, we haven’t seen affect him and I don’t think it’s affecting him. It’s a day-by-day, week-by-week conversation we are having with him.’’
It’s possible if the Yankees put Chapman on the shelf, the time away wouldn’t be sufficient to knock out the pain completely.
“I don’t want to speculate too much but it may be something 10 days, two weeks, don’t even do the trick,’’ Boone said. “Probably do it in the offseason and I am probably speculating too much on that. It is dealing with some pain things when you have certain movements.’’
The Mets, Braves, Astros, Phillies, Nationals and Red Sox had scouts at Camden Yards on Monday night for the doubleheader.
While the Yankees are searching for starting pitching, the scouts weren’t all locked in on the Yankees, who started potential trade chips Frazier in left and Tyler Wade at second in the opener.
Since the Orioles are expected to deal star shortstop Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton among others, the scouts were looking at the Birds, too. The Phillies have been linked to Machado and the Braves are in need of bullpen help.
Gleyber Torres won’t play in the All-Star Game next week in Washington, but will attend and continue to receive treatment for a strained right hip that has had him on the DL since July 5. Yankees trainer Steve Donohue will be with him.
It’s possible Torres could play in a minor league rehab game next Wednesday and rejoin the Yankees when they host the Mets on July 20 in a Subway Series game.
“Depending on how this week unfolds we will see where we are at. Maybe it’s Wednesday,’’ Boone said.
Gary Sanchez put a full day of work in the cage Monday and will take batting practice on the field Tuesday. Sanchez caught Masahiro Tanaka’s bullpen in Toronto on Sunday and, according to Boone, continues to make progress toward coming off the DL.
“He is looking very much on track,’’ Boone said of Sanchez, who has been on the DL since June 25 with a strained right groin.
If everything continues to go well, it is possible Sanchez could rejoin the Yankees for the Mets series that begins July 20 at Yankee Stadium.
Jonathan Loaisiga had his right shoulder examined by Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday and received a cortisone shot that will keep him inactive for a couple of weeks.
“Nothing structurally, they feel good about him,’’ Boone said of the right-hander who went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts for the Yankees this season and was sent to SWB on July 2.
With his streak of four straight All-Star nods broken unless the AL needs to replace a pitcher, Dellin Betances talked up fellow reliever Chad Green.
“For him not to be picked is crazy for sure,’’ Betances said of Green, who is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 34 relief outings this season.
The same could be said for Betances, who overcame a shaky start to assume his position atop the list of relievers. Since May 12, Betances has worked 22 ²/₃ innings in 22 games, given up four hits, an earned run (0.40) ERA, struck out 38 and walked 12.
In 37 games he has posted a 2.56 ERA and fanned 68 in 38 ²/₃ innings.
“Every year there are a lot of guys left out, it happens,’’ Betances said. “Last year I didn’t deserve to be part of it.’’
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