Didi rests hand, but likely back Thursday

Didi rests hand, but likely back Thursday

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees gave Didi Gregorius a precautionary day off on Wednesday, one day after he was plunked in the left hand by a pitch, and they expect the shortstop to be back in the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

X-rays were negative after Gregorius was hit by left-hander Richard Bleier in the ninth inning of New York's 8-3 victory over the Orioles, but manager Joe Girardi said that Gregorius still had some swelling in the hand on Wednesday.

"His hand was swollen last night; it's a little bit better today," Girardi said. "We figured a day off would probably help. Your concern is, it's not at full strength and then all of a sudden your swing changes a little bit. It can mess you up."

Gregorius is batting .307/.336/.439 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 29 games this year. Ronald Torreyes started at shortstop in Gregorius' place on Wednesday.

Bullpen shuffle

The Yankees optioned right-hander Bryan Mitchell to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, recalling right-hander Giovanny Gallegos. Mitchell allowed two unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning on Tuesday and has a 5.54 ERA in 11 big league relief appearances this year.

Mitchell gets out of jam in 7th

"We feel that Mitch needs to pitch and get in some consistent reps," Girardi said. "He'll go down there and start. Gallegos is used to being a bullpen guy. For Mitchell, it's important, because I believe that he's really going to help us at some point this year."

Injury updates

Greg Bird (right ankle bruise) played three innings in a simulated game at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, and he is scheduled to play six innings on Thursday for Class A Advanced Tampa, his first Minor League rehab game since being placed on the disabled list May 2.

Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion) took batting practice on Wednesday and said that he will travel with the club to Toronto, but the outfielder has been told that he will not be activated from the seven-day concussion DL when eligible on Thursday.

Aroldis Chapman (left rotator cuff inflammation) played catch on Wednesday and continues to report improvement. Chapman could be activated in mid-June.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.