New York Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial will make his major league debut against the New York Mets on Friday
The bad news is the New York Yankees are, once again, decimated by injuries. The good news is it means an exciting minor league prospect will be making his long-anticipated MLB debut.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, outfielder Estevan Florial will debut against the New York Mets.
Estevan Florial is 29th man for doubleheader. He’s starting in CF in Game 1. #Yankees
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) August 28, 2020
The Yankees also promoted veteran infielder Jordy Mercer to help with infield duties. Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, third baseman Gio Urshela has a bone spur in his elbow and is currently day-to-day.
Gio Urshela has a bone spur in his elbow, which is why he’s not in the Game 1 lineup. Boone said that Urshela is day-to-day.
Also, the #Yankees have released Luis Avilan. It is possible that they could re-sign him.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 28, 2020
But the real story of the day is Florial, a former top prospect whose outfield defense turned more than a few heads in summer camp. Now, he has his chance to shine in the pros.
Simply put, why not? The Yankees are slumping and are a walking, talking version of Operation at this point. Star outfielder Aaron Judge was back for one game before re-injuring his calf and going back on the injured list. Giancarlo Stanton is still out with a strained hamstring, and DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres are out as well.
The long and short of it is New York needs a boost and Estevan Florial is capable of providing it. The 22-year-old can play multiple outfield positions and has a smooth lefty swing. In five minor league seasons, he posted a line of .273/.353/..437 with 42 home runs, 213 RBIs, and 73 stolen bases.
However, there is a small amount of risk in adding Florial, even with the roster decimated by injuries. First, he has never played above High-A Tampa. For someone who has been in the minors as long as he has, that’s a slow ascent.
This brings the more important concern, which is that Florial is pretty injury-prone himself. His career-high for games played in the minors is 110 back in 2017. He missed three months with a broken wrist in 2018 and broke it again the following year.
Still, an unconventional season warrants unconventional decisions, and the Yankees are kind of desperate. Until Stanton is ready to play again, they have to get creative in the outfield. Moreover, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone wouldn’t call Florial up if they didn’t think he could contribute.
Florial has also apparently made adjustments at the plate, which could give an anemic offense some life.
Needless to say, count on fans to watch Estevan Florial like a hawk in his MLB debut later today.