New York Yankees News: Ramon Flores Makes MLB Debut
During Saturday’s win in O.co Coliseum, the Yankees had their fifth rookie make their MLB debut in the 2015 season. Following rookie Slade Heathcott‘s placement on the 15-day disabled list, the Yankees called up the 23-year-old outfielder Ramon Flores to the 25 man roster.
Prior to his major league debut, Flores spent seven years in the Yankees’ minor league system, originally signing as a 16-year-old from Venezuela. In addition, Flores batted .294/.389/.425 while driving in 15 RBIs in 42 games for the Triple-A Scranton RailRiders. Being 23-years-old in the major leagues is the start to a hopeful career.
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You’d imagine that Flores would have minimal impact, but during his debut, Flores made a meaningful, and exceptional, throw home to save a run. This was the first time Flores would touch the ball in the outfield; the second would come on a sliding grab into the Oakland Athletics’ bullpen. The Yankees would go on and win the game 5-3 against the A’s.
Manager Joe Girardi specified that Flores will primarily play left field against right-handed pitching, while Brett Gardner would shift over to center. When facing a left-handed pitcher, the ideal scenario would be for Chris Young to play center, while Gardner maintains his left field position.
The day would not be one Flores would forget anytime soon.
"“I feel I’m still dreaming. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and say, ‘Oh, I’m here in the major leagues!’ It’s been seven years in the minors, working very hard to get here.”"
This youth movement for the Yankees has been exciting to fans all around. Having a well-balance of veterans and youth is important to creating a successful ball club for years to come. Adding youth to a depleted outfield can be justifiable as well, as Heathcott and Ellsbury are both on the disabled list.
Speaking of youth, second baseman Jose Pirela, who made his MLB debut last September, was one of the more excited members of the Yankees to see Flores play. “I was too excited.” Pirela continued, “I see my dream come true and you have to focus on working hard if you want to stay longer.”
Currently, the Yankees sit atop the mediocre American League East with a 27-25 record. Perhaps the rejuvenation of more youth can provide the Yankees to turn up the notch, begin a winning trend, and separate themselves from the rest of the pack.