The Yankees made it through the first month of the season using just five starting pitchers, thanks to good health and good results.
The schedule will catch up to them Thursday, when they will use Luis Gil to start the series opener at the White Sox while in the midst of a stretch of 23 games in 22 days.
Clarke Schmidt was not an option because he was only sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 1 and MLB rules dictate players must stay down for 15 days before being recalled without an injured list stint on the major league roster.
Gil, a right-hander, is already on the 40-man roster and the Yankees like the experience he gained in the major leagues last summer.
After a rough start to the season at Triple-A, Gil had his best outing of the year in his most recent start, allowing two runs in five innings, while striking out nine and not walking a batter.
Before that game, Gil had struggled with his command and been mostly ineffective.
“The talent is obviously there,’’ manager Aaron Boone said prior to the Yankees’ game against the Blue Jays at the Stadium on Tuesday night. “When he came up last year, he pitched well for us and we saw him pitch important games for us.”
Gil showed considerable promise in his first three starts with the Yankees after his call-up last August. He didn’t allow a run in any of those outings, but was less effective in three outings in September.
He also has built up as a starter and Boone said the 23-year-old’s work has also been good since his last start.
“We feel like he’s the guy to go to in this moment,’’ Boone said.
Joey Gallo, finally showing some signs of life at the plate, was out of the lineup for a second time in three days Tuesday. Boone said the left fielder was “a little stiff.”
Gallo is still feeling the effects of the groin tightness that cost him time after he left a game at Kansas City on April 30.
He had a hit and a walk Monday in the Yankees’ win over the Rangers. Boone indicated Gallo would likely be back in the lineup Wednesday afternoon.
In his previous 11 games, Gallo was 8-for-30 with a double, three homers, four RBIs and four walks to go along with 13 strikeouts.
He has hit Yusei Kukuchi, Toronto’s starter Tuesday, well in the past, going 3-for-9 with a pair of homers against the lefty.
“I do feel he’s gaining traction and consistently throwing a hit out there, getting on base more,’’ Boone said. “He’s hit a couple home runs after not hitting one for a while. It’s a steady improvement. We’re just looking for more quality at-bats.”