TAMPA— New Yankees wide receiver Ben Rortvedt was scheduled to catch his first bullpen on Sunday since suffering a Level 1 right oblique strain.
His status for Opening Day still seems doubtful, but he wouldn’t rule it out.
“Not really sure at this point,” Rortvedt told reporters in the clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “To be taken day by day. »
Rortvedt added that he also didn’t feel any pain when jerking. He didn’t know when he could practice live batting or participate in spring training games.
The Yankees’ regular season opener is April 7 at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox.
The Yankees acquired Rortvedt from the Twins in a deal that also landed them third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. They sent wide receiver Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela to Minnesota.
Rortvedt said he’s not sure exactly how he suffered the injury.
He said he was glad the Yankees stopped him when they did.
“Honestly, knowing me, it’s probably good that they’re holding me back. I probably would have ripped myself a new (oblique),” Rortvedt said.
Rortvedt revealed a Yankees connection he had during the offseason. He said he spent the winter working at Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Owner Eric Cressey is the Yankees’ health and performance director. He said he’s been to many Justin Verlander bullpen sessions.
The Yankees could go with Rob Brantly as Kyle Higashioka’s replacement if Rortvedt can’t adapt in time.
“Doing what I can to get back as soon as possible,” Rortvedt said.
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Brendan Kuty can be reached at [email protected].