Absolutely nothing new to say about the state of the Yankees offense, so we’ll start this Saturday with a quick update on some guys who might — or might not — become big league options when rosters expand on September 1.
We’ll start with Matt Daley, who just went on the disabled list down in Triple-A. That might not seem like a big deal — certainly Daley’s not a big name or considered a typical prospect — but the Yankees have brought him up several times this season, and it’s not like there are a ton of pitching options knocking down the door in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Daley seems to be a solid bet for a September call-up as long as he’s healthy.
But he might not be healthy.
That’s a familiar situation for several potential September call-ups. Of the Yankees 12 minor league players who have spots on the 40-man roster — the guys who would be the easiest call-ups — seven are currently on the disabled list.
The five who are both healthy and on the 40-man are Zoilo Almonte (a good bet for call-up), Bryan Mitchell (another good bet), Manny Banuelos (making a strong case), Gary Sanchez (seems unlikely) and Zelous Wheeler (who will surely get one unless the Yankees decide to swap him out for another hitter).
A few quick updates on the six 40-man players — aside from Daley — who are currently no the minor league disabled list:
RHP Preston Claiborne — Shut down in late June, but he’s been pitching in rookie ball, and vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman says he’s about a week away from rejoining the Triple-A bullpen. He’s spent a decent about of time in the big leagues each of the past two seasons, so he could be a solid call-up candidate.
OF Ramon Flores — Hurt at the very beginning of June, Flores has been very slowly working his way back from an ankle injury. That said, he’s started playing rehab games in rookie ball, and Newman said Flores could be back with Scranton/Wilkes-Barer in “about a week.” That’s a pretty rough estimate. Flores was playing pretty well before he got hurt, but it’s been so long since he played regularly that I wonder if he’ll be a realistic call-up candidate.
OF Slade Heathcott — Lost for the year because of yet another surgery. Won’t be called up.
C John Ryan Murphy — Went on the disabled list a week ago, and Newman said there’s a chance — not at all set in stone, though — that he could be back next week. Certainly could make him a strong candidate for a September call-up. Actually, I wonder if the Yankees might carry four catchers in September with Murphy and Austin Romine both coming up.
RHP Jose Ramirez — Spent about a month in the big leagues and surely would have been a lock for a September call-up, but he’s been on the disabled list for more than a month now and Newman says he’s not close to coming back. Seems safe to rule him out as a September candidate.
And one more name that’s not on the 40-man…
RHP Andrew Bailey — The veteran closer has been working his way back from shoulder surgery all season. When they signed him in spring training, the Yankees indicated a chance that Bailey could be in the big leagues before the end of the season, but he has yet to get in a game. Newman said that Bailey’s “not close enough to make a good estimate” of when he might be ready. That certainly sounds as if he won’t be in New York this season, but I suppose the possibility still exists.
Associated Press photo