With an open roster spot available for the New York Yankees, pitching prospect Giovanny Gallegos may end up getting the call.
Multiple Mexican news outlets and reporters have reported that the New York Yankees have promoted Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the majors ahead of this weekend’s series with the Houston Astros.
There is currently an opening on the 25-man roster after New York optioned right-hander Chad Green to SWB on Tuesday night. While many assumed the spot would be devoted to the bench, it will reportedly go to the pitching prospect they signed as an international free agent on January 6, 2011.
The 25-year-old owns a 3.86 ERA in 10 relief appearances (14 innings) for the RailRiders this season including 26 strikeouts, good enough for a 16.7 strikeout-per-nine inning ratio. Batters are slashing .189/.271/.358 off him with just five extra-base hits in 53 at-bats.
Last season, coming off a year in which he dominated High-A Tampa (1.86 in 30 games), Gallegos surrendered just four runs in 33 innings at Double-A Trenton (1.09 ERA) while striking out 14.5 batters per nine innings and surrendered just 20 hits among the 124 batters faced (.171 BAA) following a promotion to Triple-A.
Gallegos, who is on the 40-man roster, did operate on a torn ulnar collateral ligament (Tommy John surgery) early in his professional career but the righty has recovered well as his fastball still sits in the 92-95 mph range (hit 95.02 mph with Mexico in the World Baseball Classic).
He also utilizes three off-speed pitches including a high-70s slider, a curveball that sits in the low-80s with some run and a curveball that is his best secondary pitch. One of the more significant aspects of his game that makes him engaging is that he’s a reliever that doesn’t rely on two pitches and finds ways to get you out.
Gallegos’ command is also pretty solid, as his ability to paint corners has helped keep his walk rate below 2.0 in four of his five seasons in the Yankees system (2012-15).
All in all, it should be interesting to see what the kid can do in the Bronx. Based on his tools and makeup, I don’t assume he’ll grow into one of baseball’s shut-down relievers, but he could be a frequent rider on the Scranton Shuttle and become one of its more skilled riders.
The only concern that arises is, of course, the shallow bench. Utility man Rob Refsnyder was optioned to Triple-A on May 8 following an 18-inning marathon with the Chicago Cubs and manager Joe Girardi was utilizing a four-man bench for the two-game set with the Reds.
That number will dip down to three as the Yankees move back into an American League ballpark, which is very rare as the organization usually carry 13 position players. But hey, you can never have too much pitching and all the signs are pointing to Gallegos earning his first shot at the big leagues.