Instant Reaction: Severino demoted to Triple-A, Ackley to 15-day DL, Refsnyder called up

Today (Monday, May 30), the Yankees made three roster moves. Dustin Ackley was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder dislocation, Luis Severino was activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Scranton, and Rob Refsnyder was called back up.

Picture Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Luis Severino (right triceps strain, activated from DL and sent to AAA) has struggled heavily this season, pitching to a 0-6 record and a 7.46 ERA. Winless in all seven starts, Severino has yet to complete seven innings this year. He’s allowed four or more earned runs in four of seven starts, and his last start was horrendous, where he allowed seven earned runs in 2.2 innings on May 13 against the Chicago White Sox. Batters are hitting .327 off of him this year, with 49 hits in just 35 innings. Yesterday (Sunday, May 29), Severino made a rehab start for the Single-A Tampa Yankees, where he allowed two hits in three scoreless innings, and struck out two batters. However, he threw only 43 pitches, which means Severino will need to build back up to his normal pitch count. The Yankees made the right call by demoting Severino, because continuing to trot him out is simply going to hurt the Yankees, both in terms of tiring out the bullpen and putting the offense in a hole early.

Picture Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Dustin Ackley (right shoulder dislocation, placed on 15-day DL) has zero extra base hits, 4 RBIs, and a .148 batting average this season. As a utility player coming off of the bench, his low batting average was understandable given his inconsistent playing time. After going 1-for-16 in April, he’s received more playing time in May, including starts in seven straight games from May 3-May 11, and in five of six games from May 24-29. However, Ackley has continued to struggle, hitting just .178 in May, and still has zero extra base hits on the season. Although his versatility is a major asset to the Yankees, his stagnant offensive performance has hurt the Yankees all season. Ackley injured his right shoulder diving back into first base, and this is identical to the way Mason Williams injured his right shoulder. Williams has been out since June 20 with the injury, and needed surgery on it, but let’s hope that Ackley’s injury is not as severe.

Picture Credit: Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Rob Refsnyder (.294, 40 hits, two home runs, and 10 RBIs in Triple-A Scranton this season) has been called up for the second time this season. Refsnyder, a fan favorite, has had limited opportunities to play in the Majors, but he took advantage of his lone start this season at Oakland with a huge 2-run double after a long at-bat and battle against Oakland’s Sean Manaea. Refsnyder, the 9th-ranked Yankees prospect according to MLB, has performed consistently at the Triple-A level, and he should receive more playing time, especially against left-handed pitchers. Refsnyder has expanded his range and can now play second base, third base, and right field, allowing him to be very useful to the Yankees now.

Meanwhile, the Yankees passed on Chris Parmelee and Nick Swisher, the two first basemen that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre offers. This season, Parmelee is hitting .246 at Triple-A, with just six home runs and 19 RBIs. Parmelee has played in at least 32 games in the Majors in each of the last four seasons, including 103 games with the Twins in 2013, but after hitting just .216 with Baltimore in 2015, he was designated for assignment and sent to the Minors to finish off the year. Meanwhile, the door has opened for Nick Swisher to come up to the Majors, but the Yankees have passed on him again. Swisher is hitting .244 this season in Scranton, with just four homers and 13 RBIs. With his rising age comes limited fielding range, and this makes him an unattractive player to call up.

With Refsnyder called up, Austin Romine will serve as the backup catcher and first baseman for Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira, respectively. Refsnyder takes over Ackley’s role as the versatility bench player, while Ronald Torreyes will continue to serve as the primary backup at shortstop and third base.

Article by: Bryan Peng
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