Yankees have intriguing response to losing flame-throwing reliever to recurring injury

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

The last time the Yankees were "forced" to demote Ron Marinaccio, the reliever was reportedly steamed with the decision -- as he should've been. He'd done nothing to earn a demotion. Still, it seemed likely the Yankees would go back to Marinaccio as soon as they had another reliever injury to deal with, playing the options game yet again.

Until ... they didn't.

On Friday afternoon, the Yankees were forced to place hard-throwing reliever Nick Burdi on the Injured List with hip inflammation -- for the second time this season. Burdi's original IL stint came when he was absolutely dealing on April 19, having struck out eight men in 6 1/3 scoreless frames. Since his return, he's been a bit more uneasy, and is now up to a 1.45 WHIP and nine walks in a maybe unsustainably solid 9 2/3 innings (1.86 ERA).

Replacing him this time around will be Marinacc -- oop, nope, it's Yoendrys Gomez, who's been a starter in the minors, made a brief cameo last season, and will now get a chance to show the Yankees' decision-makers that his raw stuff could play up in a bullpen role.

Yankees promote Yoendrys Gomez to replace injured Nick Burdi

Especially without Ian Hamilton, Burdi was playing some sort of hybrid sixth/seventh inning role, where he wasn't the first option, but was often counted on to paint cheese and work out of jams. Will Gomez be gifted the same role from the start, or will he have to work his way into it? Marinaccio, essentially, worked his way up the trust tree swiftly, before he apparently fell of it. What will Gomez do in his stead?

For those wondering, Marinaccio's ERA at Triple-A sits at 0.90 this season, so ... yeah, he's still putting in the work.

The 24-year-old right-hander possesses a sweeper with ridiculous break, as well as a mid-90s fastball that could play quicker under max effort. Bottom line? The Yankees know what they have in Marinaccio, and will surely go to that well later this year. A west coast trip and a (sadly) predictable injury to the famously bedridden Burdi has given them a chance to see what an intriguing Plan B might look like.

As midseason experiments go, this one could prove to be quite valuable in the long run, especially as the Yankees seek to learn more about the potentially expendable parts of their 40-man roster.