Yankees' key lineup change hits Paternity List snag ahead of crucial Orioles series

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New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers
New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The New York Yankees unlocked it. The formula to reach 15 runs per game, which they did consecutively against the Brewers this weekend for the first time back-to-back since 2007, had been officially uncovered. Alex Verdugo cleanup, Anthony Rizzo six-hole. No need to question it. Just profit.

In reality, things are never quite as simple as they appear, and momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher -- who would not have been Joe Ross or Tobias Myers or anyone equivalent in Baltimore this week. But changing the lineup paid immediate dividends for the Yankees, and the team will not be able to rally around those same alterations during the first game of their series with the Orioles.

The first time these two division rivals lock horns this year will come without Verdugo, who hit the paternity list on Monday afternoon. His time on the PL lasts as long as it needs to; Carlos Narvaez will replace him on the active roster for now, and presumably Trent Grisham and Taylor Trammell will alternate reps in the outfield in the meantime.

Yankees lose Alex Verdugo to the Paternity List, promote Carlos Narvaez vs. Orioles

Verdugo had been in a significant offensive groove lately, cleanup hitter or otherwise positioned. Besides covering significant ground in left field, he's hit .302 with a .391 OBP in his past 15 games, helping to lead the offense out of the dark ages. There's a reason Aaron Judge singled him out for praise this week (and has been angling to acquire him for a while). He puts bat on ball, and when he's in a groove, he can add power to that agitating equation.

In the meantime, though, he'll step aside and allow Narvaez his first taste of big-league baseball. The 25-year-old catcher is hitting just .211 with a .718 OPS at Triple-A, buoyed by his remarkable .376 OBP and 19 walks. Odds are he won't be a significant offensive piece this week -- and probably won't factor into future first-place showdowns with Baltimore this year -- but it'll be nice to give him a big-league peek.

His promotion over, say, Everson Pereira, would also indicate that Verdugo's time away from the lineup will probably be short.

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