The bullpen undoubtedly still needs work ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but the New York Yankees are ensuring they have support at the level below.
After designating Shane Greene and Ryan Weber for assignment over the last week to make room for Ron Marinaccio and Domingo Germán, the two right-handers have returned to Triple-A Scranton on Friday and will hopefully provide the necessary depth and assistance the pitching staff will need down the stretch.
Additionally, fellow reliever Richard Rodriguez, who was signed back in early July, just got moved up to Scranton after spending some time in the Florida Coast League as he reacclimates himself to the game after not pitching for a major league club since last October.
Will they all play key roles for a World Series contender? Not many would bet on it. But Greene, Weber and Rodriguez offering relief for the remainder of the pitching staff and allowing the top contributors to get ample rest before the postseason will be invaluable.
It’s unclear when they’ll be back on the MLB roster, but for now, they’ll all have to wait for the dust to settle after the trade deadline most likely.
Yankees welcome back two relievers and promote another to Triple-A
Let’s go down the list here. Greene returns after Saturday’s depressing showing against the Orioles. After Gerrit Cole relinquished the lead in the seventh that night, Greene came on to make his 2022 Yankees debut and promptly gave up two runs in the 6-3 loss. He was DFA’ed the next day. Perhaps the 2019 All-Star can make good on his second chance.
As for Rodriguez, the right-hander was among the notable names moved at last year’s trade deadline from the Pirates to the Braves, but was left off Atlanta’s postseason roster after getting knocked around in September. That said, he has a 3.28 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 1.13 WHIP and 230 strikeouts in 228 career games. Not bad. Can certainly help in some way.
Then there’s Weber, the former Red Sox reliever, who’s been good for the Bombers in 2022. He’s allowed just one run on three hits and a walk across 7.2 innings of work (a 0.52 WHIP!) with his tricky offering (mostly sinker/slider). So far, he’s proven worthy of a legitimate role the most.
On top of the myriad trade deadline candidates, this isn’t a bad crew to have waiting in the wings at Triple-A. And perhaps there’s a willingness for these guys to continue signing on with New York after their opt-out dates.
The bigger acquisitions will capture all the headlines, but these three might play integral roles beneath the surface.