Zack Britton returned to the Yankees bullpen on Thursday, but they lost another left-handed reliever when Wandy Peralta was placed on the 15-day injured list with left spinal cord strain, a back issue.
Britton, 34, has been out since last season after undergoing UCL surgery and made it clear he felt he was on the verge of returning when he arrived in the Bronx on Wednesday and said he was “ready to play.” He has to play on the field.”
The veteran reliever said he spoke with general manager Brian Cashman on Wednesday about his role. The Yankees, however, wanted to see what their bullpen needs are, which means there’s a possibility Britton won’t make his 2022 debut until Sunday.
That could change, however, when Peralta is posted to IL.
Manager Aaron Boone said Peralta has dealt with some back issues over the past month. He has been retained since his last outing Sunday against Milwaukee, where he gave up three runs while retiring a hitter.
The Yankees are hopeful that Peralta will be back in time for the final series of the regular season, against Texas.
Britton, who did not pitch in the Yankees’ 5-4, 10-inning win over the Red Sox on Thursday, is in the final year of his contract with the Yankees and will be looking to prove he can play for them in the playoffs.
“I want to get my performance back where I want it,” Britton said. “It was a step up to be back in the big leagues. Now it’s about sharpening up to be an asset for the postseason. Time will tell if that makes sense.”
Boone said: “With 14 games to go, it’s important to pick yourself up here and there against the big competition in the league so we can see where we are.”
Britton effectively retired and said he didn’t experience any problems during his minor league rehab stint, during which he appeared in eight games.
“I think there’s an unknown, and I won’t know until I do it, but my arm felt great,” Britton said. “I’m not worried, but I don’t know. If I get enough tips to be myself, time will tell.”
To make room for Britton on the 40-man roster, Miguel Andujar was designated for assignment, potentially ending his time with the Yankees.
Andrew Bentinendi, in IL after surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right hand, is still hoping to make it back in time for the playoffs, but has ruled out a return before the end of the regular season. .
“That’s the plan,” Benintendi said of getting ready for the playoffs. “Days-wise, I think it’s safe to say the regular season is over.
DJ LeMahieu (swollen right thumb) took some indoor work and had a regular evening practice Thursday. Boone expressed hope that LeMahieu could return during the current homestand, which ends Sunday.
With Thursday’s victory, the Yankees clinched a playoff spot, making Boone the first manager in MLB history to make the playoffs in his first five seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Clarke Schmidt gave up two homers in the seventh inning and allowed three home runs, and six runs overall, in his last two outings, covering 3 ¹/₃ innings.
Boone said Schmidt “struggled” and has to do better with the left-handed hitter.
Aroldis Chapman’s control problems were exacerbated when he walked two of the three batters he faced in the eighth inning. He walked seven batters in his last five games. … Giancarlo Stanton has two homers in his last three games and has another three-hit game.
Source : nypost.com