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Bullpen Day Thrives, Yanks top Rays 4-1

Entering the last week of the regular season the Yankees opened a four-game set Monday night in the always dreaded trip to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees came into tonight sitting one and a half games (two in the loss column) above the Oakland A’s for home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game. Aaron Boone decided to go with a “bullpen day” tonight instead of giving the ball to a typical starter.

Twelve potential September call-ups for the Yankees


The Yankees are playing without a lot of depth due to players traded at the deadline and the numerous injuries they have had to deal with over the summer, so the September 1st roster expansion could not come at a better time. Despite the shortage on reserves compared to the last few seasons, there are a handful of players the Yankees would highly benefit from if they are added come the switching of the calendar month. Here are ten candidates to join the team in the next few weeks. Players with *’s next to their names are not on the 40-man roster, which in a lot of cases could hurt their chances of being called up.
 
Photo Credit: NY Post


Justus Sheffield*
It is all but guaranteed Sheffield will join the team as soon as September hits. The Yankees have already transitioned him into a relief role at Triple-A, detailed here, and have hinted at his call-up over the past few weeks. He won’t be starting games unless there are some injuries, and he would be gaining his first major league experience in the middle of the pennant race. The Yankees know what they have in Sheffield, so he could be a dynamic weapon out of the bullpen down the stretch, and he has proven he is worthy of the call. Unless he has a freak injury in the next few days, expect him to make his MLB debut next month. Sheffield is not on the 40-man roster, but there is an open spot the Yankees will likely use for him.

Likelihood: 100%

Tyler Wade
Another pretty obvious choice to join the Yankees, Wade is essentially the odd man out for the team right now, meaning he would be on the bench if the Yankees did not opt to carry an extra arm in the bullpen. Many thought Wade would have joined the teamed when Didi went down with the heel injury, but the Yankees opted for Voit’s bat with Bird struggling, and it has paid off big time. However, Wade still projects to join the team as soon as rosters expand. His speed, versatility, and energy would be welcomed additions to the team. Wade looked horrendous in March/April, but has looked better offensively in the minors and in his short stints after his initial demotion. Wade could see time at second, shortstop, and in the outfield as an alternative to Shane Robinson.

Likelihood: 100%

Chance Adams
Adams has had mixed results in his two major league outings this season, but has not been put in the greatest of situations. His debut came against Boston at Fenway Park in a series the Yankees were eventually swept in, and his second outing was in relief at Miami in a 2-run game, a role which he has not pitched in since 2015 with Single-A. Despite the numbers, the Yankees like Adam’s track record and arsenal and will almost undoubtedly call him back up to pitch out of the bullpen in September. The Yankees moved Adams to the bullpen once he was sent down on Thursday, likely to get him prepared for this role.
 
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
Likelihood: 95%

Luis Cessa
Cessa is another close to guarantee to join the squad in the coming days. He has not looked good this year by any means, but his solid Triple-A numbers and "experience" as Boone likes to call it are likely going to be enough to get him back on the team. He will likely pitch in scenarios like he did in yesterday’s blowout versus Baltimore, where he recorded a three-inning save to rest the bullpen arms. Being chosen as the 26th man for the doubleheader on Saturday displays the Yankees faith in him, whether its is justified or not. 

Likelihood: 95%

Domingo German
German is the longest tenured Yankee in terms of 2018 service time on this list. He was a member of the starting rotation for most of the early summer, until his inconsistency and poor performance saw him optioned to Triple-A. Not even a week later, he was sidelined with an ulnar nerve injury, which was a sigh of relief for the team as he avoided what many thought was a Tommy John scenario. He made his first rehab start on Saturday and struck out five in three hitless innings of work. The Yankees have likely seen enough of German starting this season, so if he comes up it will be as a reliever who could go multiple innings and make a spot start if needed. However, with Adams, Cessa, and Sheffield all likely going up, the Yankees may opt to let him continue to work on his pitches in the minors and rest his arm once their season concludes.

Likelihood: 75%

Ryan McBroom
McBroom has transitioned from the guy the Yanks got for Rob Refsydner when he was DFA’d to a legitimate prospect this season. McBroom sports a .309 average and .822 OPS between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre which would be a major upgrade over Greg “Below the Mendoza Line” Bird. McBroom can also play the corner OF positions along with first base, so his versatility and bat would make perfect sense on this roster. The only things holding him back are the emergence of Luke Voit, who is having a phenomenal series versus Baltimore and the fact that he is not on the 40-man roster.

Photo Credit: Martin Griff
Likelihood: 65%

Jonathan Loaisiga
Johnny Lasagna, as many have come to call him, impressed during his four starts this season before a shoulder injury sidelined him. He’s back to pitching for Trenton and could be a weapon out of the bullpen in Septmber. Loaisiga has some of the best stuff amongst all the pitchers I have discussed and could be another flamethrower the Yankees could deploy at any given time. The only thing that’d prevent a call-up is, like German, he is fresh off an injury and there are a lot more arms ahead of him.

Likelihood 65%

Ryan Bollinger/ Stephen Tarpley*
With Chapman on the DL, Britton is the only southpaw in the pen for the Yankees. With him likely seeing mostly high-leaverage situations the Yankees could use another lefty reliever in the pen for the month of September. Bollinger is the only lefty on the 40-man who could fit this role, and while his numbers (4.00 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 8.0 K/9) aren’t eye popping, he could be a good fit. The only downside to him is that he has pitched out of the rotation in the minors for most of his career. That is where Tarpley comes in.

Most casual Yankee fans may not have ever heard of Tarpley, who was the PTBNL in the Ivan Nova trade, but he is posting phenomenal numbers in Triple-A as a southpaw out of their pen. The Yankees transitioned him into a reliever in 2017 where he posted a 0.88 ERA in 41 innings and has followed that up with a 1.62 ERA. He also has limited lefty hitters to a .415 OPS. One of the best groundball pitchers in the minors, Tarpley could be the lefty specialist the Yankees need along with Britton, if the Yankees give him a spot on the 40-man.
 
Photo Credit: NY Post
Likelihood: 60%

Zack Zehner*/Mark Payton*
Neither Zehner nor Payton are having tremdneous seasons at Double-A/Triple-A and Triple-A respectively, but other than Shane Robinson, the Yankees do not have any other true backup outfielders. Payton and Zehner are both servicebale defenders and have much greater offensive capabilities than Robinson. If the Yankees find out Judge and Frazier are going to miss most of September and Brian Cashman does not acquire one externally, it would be a very logical idea to call one of these players up. The Yankees have no healthy outfielders on the 40-man in their minor league system.

Likelihood: 40%

Domingo Acevedo
Acevedo received a cameo appearance in July, but he never appeared in a game for the Yankees as he was optioned after the July 21st contest. He has the stuff to be a power reliever and has received comparisons to Dellin Betances. The only thing going against him is that the Yankees have a lot of pitchers above him on the hierarchy and he only has pitched two games above the Double-A level. The talent is there for Acevedo, but the Yankees may want to bank on more experienced guys down the stretch. If he’s called up, I expect it to be later in the month as a way to garner experience.

Likelihood: 25%

Players likely to rejoin the team in September from injury: Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, and Didi Gregorius


Article by: Ryan Thoms

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