Yankees Announce First Wave of September Promotions

Jul 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Rob Refsnyder (38) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Rob Refsnyder (38) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

With rosters expanded in September, the New York Yankees have called up six minor leaguers to add depth for their playoff push.

The New York Yankees have addressed several glaring needs on their roster with the first group of several promotions the team announced Friday.

The Yankees added two position players and four pitchers to the big league club. Utilityman Rob Refsnyder and outfielder Eric Young Jr. will help fill out the bench for New York.

On the pitching side, right-handers Luis Severino, Kirby Yates, and Nick Goody are all familiar faces in the Bronx. The only arm making his big league debut is 23-year-old Jonathan Holder

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The 25-year-old Refsnyder has already played 45 games with the Yankees this season, hitting .264/.336/.328 (78 wRC+) in 144 plate appearances while seeing time at first, second, and right field.

A seven year MLB veteran, the speedy Young was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday for cash considerations. He’s expected to serve primarily as a pinch-runner for the team in crucial situations. With 144 steals in 179 career attempts, few professional base thieves in the game today are more accomplished than Young. A solid pickup for the club.

There’s no getting around the fact that Luis Severino’s second big league season has been a complete disaster. He has an 8.58 ERA in 43 innings as a starter this season, although he has had some success working out of the bullpen, albeit in a small sample.

For now, it appears New York will use Severino has a reliever down the stretch to try and supplement their terrible middle-relief corps. Whether he will continue to try and improve his changeup on the fly remains to be seen.

Kirby Yates and Nick Goody are not the most exciting promotions in the world, but they give the Yankees extra weapons out of the pen. At the very least they will ensure manager Joe Girardi always has a fresh arm to go to. 

The real surprise here is Jonathan Holder, who Joel Sherman reported would not receive a call up this month because of the team’s 40-man roster crunch. The 23-year-old has been simply dominant in the minors this season, pitching to a 1.65 ERA and 13.9 K/9 in 65.1 innings between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Holder appears poised to have the biggest impact on the Yankees down the stretch. He pairs a blazing mid-90’s heater with an excellent curveball that freezes hitters, giving him two plus pitches to work with. With very little competition for a late-inning role, look for Holder to emerge as Dellin Betances‘s set-up man by October.

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The team had one open 40 man roster spot after trading Ben Gamel to Seattle. To open up another spot for Young and Holder, they transferred reliever Nick Rumbelow to the 60-day disabled list.