After playing short-handed on the bench and throwing Gio Urshela into the outfield for the first time in his professional career, the Yankees have returned their bench to full strength with the activation of Cameron Maybin.
The veteran had been on the injured list since June 23 with a grade 2 left calf strain. Exactly one month after the injury, the team sent him to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He only played three games and never appeared in the field for the RailRiders as Brett Gardner’s injury required the Yankees to speed things up. Overall, Maybin went 6-for-13 (.462/.500/.846 – 238 wRC+) with two doubles and a homer.
Maybin likely moves into a platoon for left field and fourth outfielder duties with Mike Tauchman. The latter has been on fire of late, raising his slash-line on the season to a more-than-solid .275/.360/.493 (125 wRC+) while also turning in good baserunning and defense in all three spots. Maybin likely fits in to start in left field against lefties as well as spot the other outfielders in center and right field.
Of course, that shouldn’t be seen as a knock on Maybin, who’s had a bit of an offensive renaissance since joining the Yankees. The hitting coaches repeatedly told him to “trust his swing” and that’s resulted in a .314/.391/.500 (137 wRC+) line in 42 games. It’s another example of the Yankees taking what looks like a fringe acquisition and turning him into high-quality depth for a team with championship ambitions.
On the other side of the coin, the Yankees optioned Stephen Tarpley on the heels of his 48-pitch outing Thursday night. He got roughed up for four earned runs on five hits and recorded just one strikeout across 1⅔ innings.
The Yankees had 14 pitchers on the roster last night (15 if you include Austin Romine), but return to their standard 13 for Game 2.