The New York Yankees‘ current losing streak has been brought on, in part, by their once-stout bullpen starting to erode. Even though big names like Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta have blown it lately, Ron Marinaccio has been doing his best to keep the team afloat.
Even though Marinaccio has been the most consistent relief pitcher since the All-Star break, he was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre during the middle of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees needed to send a pitcher down after Frankie Montas was activated, and the rookie drew the short straw.
In a year where veterans like Miguel Castro have struggled with consistency, watching Marinaccio and long relief ace Clarke Schmidt get sent down to the minors has to be infuriating. The Yankees have a clear justification for this move, though fans are not going to like it.
The decision to send Marinaccio down is simply a result of him having minor league options. Rather than choosing to DFA a veteran, the Yankees sent down one of their younger relievers. It stinks, but we will undoubtedly see Marinaccio come back to the majors at some point relatively soon.
The Yankees bizarrely demoted Ron Marinaccio.
Marinaccio has a 2.03 ERA and .115 opposing batting average, yet that only tells half the story of how dominant he’s been. Since May 22, Marinaccio has given up just four hits in 22 innings, with a Hunter Dozier solo home run being the only time he has surrendered a run in that period.
Alternatives to a Marinaccio demotion include designating a veteran like Lucas Luetge or Domingo German for assignment. However, German has given up just five runs in his last three starts and Luetge has a 1.38 ERA since the start of June. Both of them aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
These options are the same reason that Schmidt is down with the RailRiders right now. Unless Holmes magically rediscovers his control, the Yankees’ bullpen will have gone from a strength to a major area of concern that Marinaccio needs to help fill to the best of his ability.
Marinaccio’s demotion is a gut punch in that the Yankees are prioritizing logistics and bookkeeping over fielding the most competitive team possible. Even if it might force a tough DFA decision, sending down Marinaccio has to send a strange message in the clubhouse during a time when the Yankees need every quality arm they can get.