After running through a series of veteran also-rans in the outfield all summer long, the Yankees finally bucked the trend by promoting Everson Pereira and Jasson Dominguez after the season had spiraled out of control.
Unfortunately, like clockwork, Dominguez burst onto the scene, then burst his elbow ligament. He made it eight record-setting games before tearing his UCL, and will likely be lost until early next summer.
But, on Monday, the Yankees actually used their corresponding move for Dominguez to do good rather than do harm, giving a forgotten contributor a chance to make a much-deserved impression. Better late than never.
After hemming and hawing all year long, making it clear that resurgent outfielder Estevan Florial wasn't in their plans, the Yankees have recalled the former top prospect to take Dominguez's place. He deserves to play every day, and could set himself up very well for future success (likely in another organization, but potentially next spring in the Bronx, while Dominguez recuperates).
Yankees promote Estevan Florial in Jasson Dominguez's place
Can't wait 'til he goes 3-for-4 with two doubles in the opener at Fenway, then hits the 60-Day IL after being run over by a rogue steamroller!
But seriously, while it would be foolish to expect him to reach the Mickey Mantle-esque heights of Dominguez's eight-game cameo, Florial has a chance to prove his doubters wrong, many of whom currently reside in the Yankees' front office.
Technically, he headed north with the team for Opening Day, but the Yankees made it clear they would prefer to use nearly any other option. After a pinch-running appearance, he was demoted and knocked off the 40-man roster in favor of Franchy Cordero (who easily could've been promoted this time around, too). Somewhat miraculously, he went unclaimed and returned to an organization that had already discarded him. At that point, something locked in. The swing-and-miss problem persisted, but the speedy and powerful Florial hit 28 bombs, knocked in 79 runs, stole 25 bags, and hit .284 with a .380 OBP and .945 OPS this season in Scranton. He's also a full-time lefty swinger.
You didn't have to move mental mountains to feel like Florial would've been a better outfield trial option this summer than Cordero, Jake Bauers, Billy McKinney, or Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who remains an infielder. The Yankees clearly felt differently. Now, with very little to play for in the standings, Florial gets a four-game spotlight at the hitter-friendly Fenway Park, and a few weeks down the stretch to show off for whoever's watching as New York attempts to play spoiler. The season may be nearly over for most Yankees, but give the team credit for actually providing an end-of-year opportunity to one of their very few players with something significant to gain.