Yankees injury latest news and roster moves

AP Photo/ Frank Franklin II
Sara Molnick
Tuesday August 22, 2023

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Josh Donaldson was seen running on the outfield grass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Because of a right calf injury, the Yankees’ third baseman is on the 60-day Injured List (IL) and can’t come back until around mid-September. It seems like everything is showing that he should be back and ready to play by then. He has been working on getting better on the field for a few weeks, and now he’s even doing sprints.

But, even though he’s getting better, it’s not guaranteed that he’ll immediately get to start in the lineup once he’s back. This is because he had a hard time hitting well before he got injured, with a not-so-great .142 batting average, .225 on-base percentage, and.434 slugging percentage (even though he did hit 10 home runs) in the 120 times the Yankees’ third baseman went up to bat before he got hurt.

Greg Weissert moved to AAA

The New York Yankees made a statement saying that they sent relief pitcher Greg Weissert down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This move frees up a spot on the roster, which is needed because Carlos Rodon is likely coming back to join the starting rotation on Tuesday night when the Yankees play against the Washington Nationals.

Carlos Rodon to start on Tuesday

Currently, the Yankees are trailing by nine games for a wild card position after the Boston Red Sox swept them in their home stadium over the weekend. Even though Carlos Rodon was the team’s major addition during the offseason, things haven’t gone as expected. Rodon faced setbacks, missing a big part of the season. He only made his comeback in July, right before the All-Star Game.

Carlos Rodon is seen during his start for the Yankees against the Astros on July 06, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

After making his return, Rodon had a few good performances, but he faced challenges in most of his games, particularly in his last one before he got injured. This happened during a match against the Houston Astros, where he hurt his hamstring and had to go on the injured list.

The Yankees have put a significant amount of resources into Rodon. They believed he would become the second top pitcher alongside Gerrit Cole in their rotation, creating a strong duo that’s one of the best in baseball. Even though the Yankees probably won’t make it to the playoffs, if Rodon comes back and performs well in the last month of the season, it would be a good thing for the team’s future going into 2024.

McKinney’s back update

Billy McKinney, who was dealing with a back issue, was named as the left fielder and positioned in the seventh batting position for Sunday’s game against the Red Sox.

McKinney couldn’t play on Saturday because of a stiff back during the 8-1 loss. However, he was back in the lineup on Sunday, marking his third start in four games. McKinney doesn’t have a definite spot for playing every day in the Yankees’ outfield, but he’ll likely get chances to play somewhat regularly when the opponent’s pitcher is right-handed. This is because the manager, Aaron Boone, will sometimes give days off to players like Giancarlo Stanton, Jake Bauers, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to keep them rested.


The Yankees’ potential Triple-A call up

A big change is expected in the lineup after manager Aaron Boone met owner Hal Steinbrenner. The Yankees manager expressively told, “anything’s on the table right now.” This may lead to prospects performing well in the minors to get an MLB call.

One of their top prospects, Everson Pereira, has made a strong case for being promoted, regardless of the current situation. Pereira has a batting average of.311 and an OPS of.887 in 33 games with the RailRiders. He holds the third spot on the organization’s prospects list, according to MLB Pipeline.

On Friday afternoon, Boone discussed Pereira and catching prospect Austin Wells. He mentioned that these young players have caught the attention of the Yankees. When asked whether they might contribute to the team in the near future, Boone responded that they would see to that. 

Pereira is part of the 40-man Yankees roster, which means he can be moved up to the major league level quite easily—provided the Yankees have an open spot on their active roster. It’s important to mention that the 22-year-old was absent from the Triple-A lineup on Thursday due to illness, as reported by Conor Foley from The Times-Tribune in Scranton. However, Pereira was back on the field on Friday and managed to get one hit in two at-bats, along with two walks, even though his team lost to Boston’s Triple-A affiliate.

Estevan Florial also has a valid argument for consideration. However, it’s worth noting that the Yankees outfielder, who tends to strike out frequently, is not currently part of the 40-man roster. This means that another player would need to be removed from the roster in order to make Florial eligible for a potential call-up.

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