Zack Britton is back from a strained hamstring and immediately provides a much-needed bullpen boost for the New York Yankees.
The New York Yankees welcomed back a familiar face as lefty reliever Zack Britton was activated from the injured list. Britton was activated along with backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. However, the Yankees also kept veteran backup Erik Kratz on the roster.
Following last night's game, the Yankees optioned RHP Miguel Yajure to the Alternate Site.
Prior to today's game, the Yankees reinstated LHP Zack Britton (#53) and C Kyle Higashioka (#66) from the 10-day injured list and designated INF Jordy Mercer for assignment.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 1, 2020
Britton last pitched on Aug. 19, when he allowed two runs in 0.2 innings before straining his left hamstring. He had a 2.00 ERA in 10 games before his injury and also converted eight saves while Aroldis Chapman recovered from COVID-19.
Manager Aaron Boone added Britton would immediately slot into his traditional eighth-inning setup role, as he was able to throw during his IL stint.
Boone said Britton goes right back into the eighth inning job off the IL. Has basically been able to throw this whole time, did two bullpens.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 1, 2020
Words cannot describe how much the Yankees need Zack Britton right now. The lineup is missing two big bats in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as both continue to recover from calf and hamstring injuries. As a result, offense has been scarce. Additionally, the Britton-less bullpen blew leads in four of the Yankees’ last seven games.
But everyone can breathe a small sigh of relief now. Britton and his infamous power sinker and 66% career groundball rate (GB%) will be key in low-scoring games. In a close game, be it 2-0, 1-0, or even scoreless, a reliever who can notch strikeouts and induce soft contact is vital.
Given the Yankees are also without dominant bullpen arm Tommy Kahnle as well, Zack Britton will be welcomed back with open arms. The rival Tampa Bay Rays have just as deadly a bullpen as New York’s, so this boost is particularly important in a shortened season where the Rays seemingly can’t be stopped.
All in all, though, this is great for the Yankees. Zack Britton is an important bullpen arm. Here’s hoping he’s fully healthy and can immediately produce at an All-Star level.
The Yankees will once again try to solve the Rays on Tuesday night.