Category: Transactions

Domingo Acevedo Promoted From Double-A

One Domingo replaces the other Domingo.

The Yankees have recalled No. 7 prospect Domingo Acevedo to be in the bullpen for today’s game with the Mets. Last night, Pinstriped Prospects’ Robert Pimpsner alluded to Acevedo’s promotion and The Athletic’s Robert Murray confirmed it this morning.

Acevedo takes the spot of Domingo Germán, who was optioned Friday night after another disappointing start. The righty is 6’7″, 250-pounds and began the season with Double-A Trenton. He was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but did not pitch in MLB Spring Training because he was coming off of a career-high 133.0 innings pitched across High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2017.

So far, the results have been solid for Acevedo in the Eastern League. In 11 games (eight starts, 50⅔ innings) he has a 2-2 record and a 2.84 ERA (3.32 FIP) with 40 strikeouts to 18 walks. Batters have hit just .209 against him and he carries a 40.6% ground ball rate so far on the year.

MLB Pipeline’s scouting report is as follows:

Acevedo’s fastball has been clocked as high as 103 mph, though he usually works from 93-97 mph as a starter, which is even tougher to hit because of the funkiness and angle his 6-foot-7 frame and low three-quarters arm slot create. That slot makes it tough for him to stay on top of his mid-80s slider, which may never be more than an average offering. He compensates with a plus changeup that he locates well and is effective against both left-handers and right-handers.

For an extra-large guy with a lot of velocity, Acevedo throws a surprising amount of strikes. His delivery isn’t smooth and features effort, yet he somehow makes it work and finally proved he could hold up over a full season in 2017. Some scouts aren’t convinced he’ll hold up for a starter, though he’d still have plenty of value as a high-leverage option should he become a reliever.

Acevedo got the call over the other two healthy arms on the Yankees 40-man roster, which are Giovanny Gallegos and Tommy Kahnle. He is the second Yankee to get the call directly from Double-A, as fellow righty Jonathan Loáisiga was promoted to make four starts in June.

Brandon Drury Recalled From SWB

Back after a 7-game vacation in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Yankees filled out their roster to start the second half with utility man Brandon Drury on Friday, recalling him from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take the place of outfielder Clint Frazier.

Frazier had been optioned by the Yankees on Monday heading into the All-Star break. Things haven’t been great for Drury since he reported back to SWB on July 13, going 4-for-25 (44 wRC+) and striking out in one-third of his at-bats. The Yankees like his versatility, however, as he has seen time at both third base and second base recently.

He also played first base for the Yankees this year, and has some corner outfield time on his résumé. Defensive metrics are really only kind to Drury at second base, where he still has an overall negative range factor.

Drury has an overall .178/.260/.289 (51 wRC+) line in 50 MLB plate appearances, and owns a .294/.403/.447 (144 wRC+) line in 233 International League plate appearances. The latter stat-line was enough to propel him to IL All-Star recognition, though he did not report to Triple-A in time to attend.

The Yankees acquired Drury in a three-team trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks that also included the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees sent RHP Taylor Widener to Arizona and 2B Nick Solak to Tampa to make it happen.

Yankees 4, Orioles 5: Or Not…

CC Sabathia ended up staying for a few batters too many, as Danny Valencia‘s three-run home run proved fatal in the opening game of Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore.

In the bottom of the sixth, the veteran lefty walked Mark Trumbo, allowed a “double” to Jonathan Schoop (hard ground ball right at Neil Walker that should have been at least a 3-6 force) and then Valencia took CC 415 feet to dead central.

The Yanks scored first as Giancarlo Stanton ripped his 22nd homer of the year in the second inning. In the third, Kyle Higashioka doubled, Tyler Wade singled and then two consecutive singles from Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees two more runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Trumbo (who came into the game .282/.300/.462 lifetime against Sabathia) smoked a two-run shot to make it 3-2. A Stanton single, Clint Frazier groundout and single from Walker gave the Yankees their fourth run.

It’s pretty clear that Aaron Boone could not use his usual pitching strategy because today is a doubleheader. He left Sabathia in after the leadoff walk to Trumbo, which should have spelt the end for him. He definitely should have been lifted after the Schoop double. It felt like Jonathan Holder was too little too late. Also, I find it quite odd that he went to the long-man, A.J. Cole, in the first game of the doubleheader, when Luis Cessa is scheduled to start the second game. I guess that’s why they recalled Giovanny Gallegos, though.

Wow. That was one of the most frustrating experiences for the 2018 Yankees. I hope the bats can break out to back Cessa because their inability to beat the Orioles is downright ridiculous.

What’s Next

More baseball. Luis Cessa has been recalled to face former farmhand Yefry Ramírez in the nightcap. Ramírez was traded to the Orioles for international bonus pool space (and a 40-man roster spot) minutes before the Sonny Gray acquistion at last year’s trade deadline.

Brandon Drury was optioned to Triple-A to create an active roster spot for Cessa.

King: Clint Frazier to Be Recalled; David Hale to Be Designated for Assignment

With the Yankees facing two left-handed starters in the remaining two games of the series with the Toronto Blue Jays, Clint Frazier will be back in the clubhouse as an option to Aaron Boone. The 23-year-old will be promoted for today’s afternoon matchup, per George A. King III of the New York Post.

King reports Frazier will take the place of pitcher David Hale, who threw 5⅔ innings of admirable long relief last night after Sonny Gray only lasted two innings. Hale will be designated for assignment because he is out of minor league options.

Frazier has finally gotten to the point of dominating Triple-A pitching, though “finally” feels harsh given that Frazier isn’t even that old. Since reporting back to the RailRiders after his last demotion (June 27), Red Thunder has put up an impressive .314/.400/.657 line with three home runs in nine games.

Hale is back in a familiar situation, where he must be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. If he clears waivers, he can accept an outright assignment or be released. With Hale’s service time, he has the ability to decline an outright assignment and become a free agent.

Tyler Wade Recalled for Toronto Opener

The 23-year-old is back in a utility role.

The Yankees have recalled utility man Tyler Wade to be active for tonight’s series opener in Toronto. Wade will fill the roster spot vacated by Gleyber Torres, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a right hip strain.

Wade struggled mightily at the MLB level after winning the starting second base job out of Spring Training behind a .286/.400/.388 line and a newly revamped swing that resulted from offseason workouts with Albert Pujols. But, the results in the early going for Wade were anything but Pujols-like: .086/.158/.143 with a 29% strikeout rate. Wade also was sick during the opening series in Toronto, and lost a significant amount of weight.

The 23-year-old was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 22, the same day that Torres made his MLB debut. Wade got off to a bit of a rocky start in the International League, collecting just five hits in his first week back. But, in 58 games since May 1, Wade has returned to producing like he did last year: .282/.343/.394 with his strikeout rate down to 19.5%.

As he returns to the Yankees, he’ll see himself in a different role than before. Aaron Boone has already said that Neil Walker will receive the majority of time at second base, and it’s possible that Brandon Drury is ahead of Wade on the second base depth chart. In recent weeks, Wade has appeared at his primary position of shortstop, third base, second base, left field, center field and right field. So, he’s the utility backup on a team that likes to carry a short bench. If he can produce at a similar clip to Triple-A, he will be able to regain some value with Yankees fans that he lost with his disappointing start.

Wade gets the call to the big leagues over Ronald Torreyes because the latter is currently on the temporarily inactive list at Triple-A. He is with his wife, who is dealing with an undisclosed medical ailment. The 25-year-old had been slashing an uncharacteristically low .196/.255/.217 in 13 games at SWB, and had picked up just two hits in his last five games prior to his movement to the temporarily inactive list.

Greg Bird Activated; Ronald Torreyes Optioned to SWB

The Toe-Night Show moves to Scranton, at least for now.

We all knew Greg Bird was coming back today. Yankee manager Aaron Boone told Mike Francesa as much during Thursday’s off-day. He also mentioned that the team had not quite figured out who was going to be demoted to Triple-A when the slugging first baseman returned.

“It’s something that we’ve had a lot of conversations about,” Boone said before Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. “We are still mulling it over; we just met a little bit ago to work through things and what we think the best way to go is. It leads to a difficult decision, not a simple one, not an obvious one. It’s something, frankly, that we’re still kind of working through.”

That decision has been made, and it must not have been easy. The Yankees demoted fan-favorite utility infielder Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and activated Bird as expected. Torreyes was hitting .339/.349/.435 with six doubles in 62 at-bats this season. His value came from his ability to hit for contact even without much playing time, as well as suit up at any non-first base infield position and even in the outfield corners.

It’s worth noting that last season, where Torreyes played in 108 games and Bird in just 48, that Bird had an OPS+ of 84 and Torreyes’ was just 81. Bird actually managed to contribute more offense despite having 166 fewer plate appearances. That’s because of Torreyes’ 153 hits as a member of the Yankees, a whopping 83.7% of them have been singles. Out of Bird’s 69 hits as a Yankee, just 47.8% have been singles.

Bird brings some badly needed lefty power to the Yankees lineup. Lefty hitters have only hit 18 home runs for the Yankees this year, and 11 of those have come from Didi Gregorius. When healthy, the 25-year-old Bird does quite well against lefties. His OPS is actually 69 points higher against southpaws than righties, which is impressive for a young player.

The Yankees choose to keep Tyler Austin and A.J. Cole around, who were my top candidates for a demotion upon Bird’s return. Austin will likely platoon at first until Bird is ready to play everyday, as well as get some at-bats as a designated hitter when the Yankees face a tough lefty. With the Yankees struggling to get consistent innings from Domingo Germán and Sonny Gray, it makes sense to keep an arm like Cole’s around in case of mop-up and/or long relief situations.

I wouldn’t expect Torreyes to be gone long, as the Yankees likely will not want to rely on Gleyber Torres as their sole backup shortstop. While the decision to send Torreyes down must’ve been tough, it makes the most short-term sense for this team. It’s not like they abandoned him on a deserted island. Torreyes had the most flexibility because of his minor league options and I see him continuing to contribute in the Bronx this season.

Erik Kratz Traded to Brewers; Adam Lind Released

The Yankees made two minor league moves Friday afternoon, trading Triple-A catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers and releasing 1B/OF Adam Lind. The Yankees signed utility man Wilkin Castillo, primarily a catcher, out of the independent Atlantic League yesterday likely knowing Kratz would be dealt today.

Kratz, 37, came to the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations ahead of the September 1 roster expansion date in 2017. His acquisition came at a time where the Yankees needed catching depth because of looming suspensions to both Austin Romine and Gary Sánchez. Kratz went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs in four appearances for the Yankees. This season in Triple-A, he was hitting .269/.356/.538 with four home runs and six RBIs in the International League. The Brewers selected Kratz to their 25-man active roster today.

Lind was released as the Yankees await the return of Greg Bird to the everyday lineup. This all but confirms that Tyler Austin will be demoted to Triple-A when Bird is officially activated Saturday. Lind was hitting .241/.302/.414 with one home run and seven RBIs in eight games prior to his release. The minor league contract he signed contained an opt-out for June 1, and the Yankees gave him a head-start on his free agency with this release.

Castillo was with the Yankees in 2017, though only in minor league duty. The 33-year-old is a switch-hitter, and has appeared at every position except for center field in his minor league career. Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, he slashed .196/.243/.286 with three home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s there to play defense and give the other minor leaguers a breather every once in a while. Castillo was hitting .314/.400/.486 through 20 games with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.


The Yankees activated RHP Tommy Kahnle from the 10-day disabled list prior to Friday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.