Yankees call up Triple-A reliever after red hot start, DFA offseason addition

Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitcher Clayton Andrews delivers a pitch during their spring training
Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitcher Clayton Andrews delivers a pitch during their spring training / Roy Dabner for the Milwaukee Journal

The Yankees, with the power of an apparent minor-league option, have decided to give recent trade acquisition Jake Cousins a chance to hone his craft a little bit further at Triple-A Scranton.

After an outing where his command deserted him in the middle innings on Sunday (and following an outing in the desert where everything deserted him), Cousins has been demoted, and will be tasked with commanding his nasty slider a bit better for next time.

Instead of promoting a familiar name in his place, the Yankees have gone fairly far off most folks' radar and selected 28-year-old left-hander Josh Maciejewski, who is very much hoping not to be this season's Matt Krook.

Maciejewski required a 40-man roster spot prior to his arrival, which the Yankees created by DFAing Clayton Andrews, who came over from the Brewers on the same day Scott Effross reported his back issues this spring. He will likely leave the organization without debuting in pinstripes.

Yankees promote little-known reliever Josh Maciejewski to MLB roster

Probably not the "Clayton" most Yankee fans thought would be involved in the team's next Triple-A promotion, but hey, there's still time.

Apologies to Andrews, but Maciejewski was likely the better option here, even if most fans can't pick him out of a lineup or a box score (or, forbid, a spell check). The heretofore unknown 28-year-old was selected in the 10th round by the Yankees in 2018 out of Charlotte, meaning he snuck through several Rule 5 Drafts unprotected.

He opened 2024 with 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball, along with two hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Last season, he stood out at Double-A Somerset (24 Ks, 3.06 ERA in 17 2/3 innings), but struggled with an explosive WHIP in 23 2/3 innings after being promoted to Scranton (1.437, 12 walks).

No one knows for certain whether he'll have a longer leash than Cousins, and the Yankees' bullpen does already feature two late-inning lefties in Caleb Ferguson and Victor González. As a non-Dodger, Maciejewski already has a disadvantage in that department. Hopefully, the Yankees can get out to a big lead one of these days (or, gulp, an uncomfortably large deficit) to give Maciejewski a nice soft place to land for his MLB debut.

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