Better days are ahead for the New York Yankees, right? Things couldn’t possibly get worse after getting swept by the Boston Red Sox and possessing one of the worst offenses in the league after 60 games.
The Yankees do figure to get stronger in the coming weeks as Zack Britton is nearing a return and Luke Voit could be back by the end of the month. Those would be two extremely fortifying additions for the struggling Bombers, who can’t seem to do much of anything right as of late.
But things haven’t exactly been peachy when it comes to Britton, who got roughed up on Tuesday night in his outing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“Roughed up” is actually an understatement. And it doesn’t bode well since the veteran saw a specialist after experiencing elbow soreness post-surgery.
Despite some solid outings with Double-A Somerset, you couldn’t ask for a worse showing upon arrival at Triple-A.
Britton, again, was starting the game in his rehab assignment, which has likely been the strategy so he’s guaranteed innings in the event of a rainout or blowout. The Yankees want him getting quality innings against the opposition’s best hitters.
Not being able to get out of the first inning? That’s a bad sign, regardless of the situation. Britton did say over the weekend that he’s getting more comfortable but his command still isn’t there. Well, it wasn’t there again, and this was especially bad.
The lone out he made was a strikeout of Blue Jays slugger Cavan Biggio, but he was knocked around by the other four batters he faced. A two-run double and a two-run homer, which came off the bat of someone making his Triple-A debut. And he was a lefty.
Maybe it was a bad omen Britton was facing the Trenton Thunder, the former Double-A affiliate of the Yankees which was left high and dry by the organization in the offseason?
Sadly, at this point, we have no reason to believe Britton will be returning to form anytime soon, especially when he’ll be tasked with filling a prominent bullpen role. The pressure will be on him to perform from the jump, especially with the Yankees offense failing to provide cushion for the rotation or the bullpen.
Britton’s had a trying few months, too, so it could be a longer road than expected. He battled COVID-19 in January, dealt with elbow soreness early in spring training, needed surgery to remove a bone chip, then dealt with soreness again in his first outing after going under the knife, and now this.
Keep your head up, Yankees fans, but don’t get your hopes up for … anything, really.