Yankees promote Estevan Florial but don’t get too excited

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Estevan Florial #90 of the New York Yankees in action against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 6-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Estevan Florial #90 of the New York Yankees in action against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 6-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The Yankees have said all the right things publicly about top outfield prospect Estevan Florial, who’s only just starting to find his way through Triple-A pitching after struggling with swings-and-misses during his entire minor-league tenure.

Yes, the team believes in him. No, they’re not going to let their belief in his skills cloud their vision of his current timeline. Next question.

That’s what made Thursday’s roster moves so shocking, at first blush.

When Aaron Hicks went down with a wrist injury two weeks ago and Giancarlo Stanton was scratched from a Friday night lineup, the team instead looked to Ryan LaMarre…who later found himself injured on the turf in Texas.

Even when LaMarre lost his role, the team still didn’t press the Florial button, opting instead to juggle the same roster around.

But now, all of a sudden, with Luke Voit hurt and several roster spots open (and several players sitting on the 10-Day IL with 60-Day potential), the Bombers chose to add Florial to the roster instead of a true first baseman like Chris Gittens — though perhaps not for long.

How long will the Yankees keep Estevan Florial in the majors?

As jarring as this was to read, there are several reasons Florial was the choice, the most prominent of which is…it’s likely a very temporary promotion.

No roster shuffle was necessary to promote Florial, who’s already on the team’s radar and made a short cameo in a doubleheader last year against the Mets, too. Though this team absolutely has a long-term need for a lefty bat, there’s very little benefit to shirking the trade market and trying to fill it with an extremely green internal option.

This promotion might, in fact, say more about Stanton than Florial, as promoting a patch rather than a permanent fix could indicate the DH will be activated Friday night in Detroit, which could send Florial right back to Triple-A Scranton.

After all, we’re talking about a player with 18 games above the High-A level (one of them an official MLB game!), along with 22 strikeouts in those contests.

If Florial doesn’t get a chance to contribute in one of Thursday’s two doubleheader games, we’ll be disappointed, both because he’s theoretically extremely exciting and also because there’s a very good chance he’ll be gone tomorrow.

The electric Florial will someday get a chance to stick on the big-league roster and help the Yankees’ outfield depth, but as shocking as it was to see his name on the marquee, this more likely than not won’t be that opportunity.