The New York Yankees‘ sudden reversal in bringing back reliever Albert Abreu after his second DFA of the season shocked fans this week. The situation got even stranger when Abreu immediately required a 26-man roster spot, resulting in Clarke Schmidt’s demotion, David McKay’s trade, and a whole lot of head-scratching about a pitcher whose FIP has him directly on the edge of purgatory.
After Thursday night’s win, things got a lot more hopeful, though. Abreu rewarded the front office’s faith with a scoreless inning and some 99 MPH ched to help keep Houston at bay while the Yankees plotted a comeback.
Following the game, the right-hander got emotional once more, showing gratitude for the chance to come home again.
If not for Abreu, Jameson Taillon, Lucas Luetge and Miguel Castro, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge may never have gotten the chance to pull even and dismiss the Astros in dramatic fashion in the ninth.
The electric right-hander got one hell of a “welcome back” experience Thursday night, and did not take his second chance lightly.
After losing a roster spot in both Texas and Kansas City this season, Abreu expressed his belief that he’s now right back where he belongs as he attempts to harness his stuff. With Matt Blake behind him as well as the crowd, he’s probably correct.
Yankees right-hander Albert Abreu grateful for return to the Bronx
Abreu’s comeback to relevance would be an extra special development to add to a season that’s already full of them. It’s certainly not out of the question, though. After all, isn’t the story of this season all about players being renewed after putting on the pinstripes/feeling like they’re finally home? Jose Trevino, meet the pitcher you were traded for.
During stints in Texas and Kansas City this season, Abreu posted FIPs of 8.56 and 8.21, walking 16 batters in 13 innings. He walked an additional batter in his return to Yankee Stadium but, like he so often did earlier in the campaign, too, that runner was stranded.
Abreu walked the line plenty in 2022, putting up solid surface numbers with terror lurking underneath. Insert the added motivation that comes from returning to his comfort zone, and perhaps he’ll find control of his impressive fastball yet again, as he appeared to during Aug. 2021 (2.51 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched).
If the Yankees can get that Abreu back, fans will match his gratitude in spades — especially since Trevino’s still on our side, too.