Yankees activate Bryan Mitchell off 7-day concussion DL

(David Banks/Getty)
(David Banks/Getty)

Earlier today, the Yankees announced they have activated right-hander Bryan Mitchell off the 7-day concussion DL. He takes the roster spot of Nick Goody, who was sent down following Wednesday’s game. The Yankees still have a normal seven-man bullpen and four-man bench.

Mitchell, 24, has been out since taking a line drive to the face eleven days ago. He escaped with only a small nasal fracture, which, in the grand scheme of things, was only minor damage. Mitchell could have suffered much more serious facial fractures or eye damage. He got lucky.

The Yankees had Mitchell throw a 30-pitch simulated game Tuesday and everything went well. He healed up so well and so quickly that the team didn’t even bother to send him on a minor league rehab assignment. Mitchell is still stretched out and able to work as a long man and/or spot starter.

The 7-day concussion DL comes with all sorts of protocol. Mitchell had to pass baseline testing and the results had to be approved by MLB before he could be activated. That all happened, obviously. Mitchell’s been pretty good for the Yankees this year (3.86 ERA and 3.26 FIP in 21 innings), so it’s good to get him back so soon after such a scary moment.

Yankees send Nick Goody down to Triple-A Scranton


Following yesterday’s game, the Yankees sent Nick Goody back down to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. He had been called up prior to the game to give the bullpen a fresh arm. Goody threw 20 pitches in a scoreless ninth inning yesterday, which is apparently all the Yankees needed from him.

Goody, 24, has ridden the bullpen shuttle this season and has allowed two runs in 3.1 big league innings. He has a 1.70 ERA (2.16 FIP) with a 33.1% strikeout rate and a 8.8% walk rate in 58.1 minor league innings split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year.

The Yankees won’t be able to bring Goody back when rosters expand on September 1st because of the ten-day rule — they won’t be able to call up Nick Rumbelow on September 1st either after sending him down yesterday — so he’ll have to wait a little longer to return to the show. Just a few days though.

A corresponding roster move was not announced yesterday. My guess is the Yankees will activate Bryan Mitchell (face) off the 7-day concussion DL. He threw a 30-pitch simulated game Tuesday and everything went well. Caleb Cotham‘s ten days will be up Friday, so he’s another call-up option. Or maybe they’ll bring Chris Capuano back to troll us all.

I suppose the Yankees could call up a position player with both Mark Teixeira (shin) and Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) banged up, but that would surprise me. I have a hard time believing they would go with a six-man bullpen, even temporarily until rosters expand. Everything they’ve done the last few years suggests they play with a short bench before a short bullpen. We’ll see.

Yankees place CC Sabathia on 15-day DL, bring back Chris Capuano

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

As expected, the Yankees have placed CC Sabathia on the 15-day DL, the team announced. They’re officially calling it “right knee inflammation.” Chris Capuano was brought back to fill the roster spot and give the team a long man. It’s his fourth stint with the Yankees this year.

“Is it possible that he doesn’t pitch the rest of the year? It’s a possibility,” said Joe Girardi to reporters this afternoon when asked about Sabathia’s status for the rest of the season.

Sabathia, 35, left yesterday’s game with right knee pain and went for an MRI. That’s the same knee he has had surgically repaired three times over the years, including a season-ending clean out procedure last year. He’s had the knee drained at least twice this year and recently received a cortisone shot as well. Sabathia indicated the cortisone shot didn’t help a much while speaking to reporters yesterday.

Capuano, 37, has been on and off the roster for a few weeks now. He has a 6.55 ERA (60 ERA+) and a 4.94 FIP in 33 total innings with New York this year, and was designated for assignment over the weekend. The Yankees used a bunch of relievers after Sabathia left yesterday’s game, so Capuano is there in case they need distance tonight. Hopefully that’s not the case.

Michael Pineda is scheduled to come off the DL on Wednesday, so there’s a pretty good chance Capuano will be designated for assignment yet again in two days. It’s either that or send down Nick Rumbelow or Branden Pinder. That seems unlikely because the ten-day rule means neither would be able to return when rosters expand on September 1st. We’ll see.

Yankees place Mitchell on 7-day concussion DL, send down Cotham, add Capuano and Rumbelow

(NY Daily News)
(NY Daily News)

As expected, the Yankees made some moves this afternoon to bolster their bullpen following last night’s marathon. Bryan Mitchell was placed on the 7-day concussion DL and Caleb Cotham was sent down, the Yankees announced. Chris Capuano and Nick Rumbelow are up from Triple-A Scranton to replace them on the roster.

Mitchell, 24, was hit in the face by a line drive last night and suffered a small nasal fracture, which is probably good news. It could have been a lot worse. Mitchell will be monitored for concussion symptoms in the coming days. The 7-day concussion DL comes with all sorts of protocol — he has to pass a bunch of tests and be cleared by MLB’s doctors before he can return to action.

Cotham threw two innings and 44 pitches in relief of Mitchell last night and was an obvious choice to go down today. Capuano was designated for assignment Saturday, cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment yesterday, and is back with the Yankees today. It’s his third stint with the team this year. Rumbelow is fresh — he threw 18 pitches Sunday and had three days off before that.

As our Bullpen Workload page shows, Joe Girardi‘s relief crew is going to be really shorthanded tonight. I have to think Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and Chasen Shreve are all out of commission due to their recent workloads, leaving Capuano, Rumbelow, Andrew Miller, and maybe Justin Wilson behind CC Sabathia this evening.

Braves claim Danny Burawa off waivers from Yankees


The Braves have claimed right-hander Danny Burawa off waivers from the Yankees, the team announced. He’s been assigned to their Triple-A affiliate. New York designated Burawa for assignment a few days ago when they re-signed Garrett Jones following Dustin Ackley‘s injury.

Burawa, 26, is a local kid from Long Island who was the team’s 12th round pick in the 2010 draft out of St. John’s. He has vicious stuff, sitting mid-to-high-90s with a knockout slider, but control has always been an issue. Burawa has a 3.51 ERA with a 22.6 K% and an 11.3 BB% in 276.2 career innings in the minors.

The Yankees added Burawa to the 40-man roster last offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft and he made his big league debut earlier this season, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning. The club is loaded with righty relievers, so Burawa should have a much greater opportunity in Atlanta, where they have guys in the bullpen even I’ve never heard of.

Hal: “I didn’t want to give those kids up” at the trade deadline


Two weeks ago the Yankees did relatively little at the trade deadline, acquiring Dustin Ackley in a minor trade with the Mariners and that’s all. The team was connected to almost every available pitcher but nothing came together, mostly because the Yankees were reportedly unwilling to deal their top prospects. That strategy is both understandable and very debatable.

At the owners meetings in Chicago this week, Hal Steinbrenner told Paul Hagen it was essentially his idea to make those top prospects off limits, mentioning several by name. Here’s what Hal said:

“I really don’t think we had the type of glaring need that you would address by giving up one of your top Triple-A prospects,” the managing general partner said Wednesday during the quarterly Owners Meetings. “I just wasn’t going to do it, especially not for a loaner, a guy you’re only going to have for three months or so.”

“Again, I didn’t want to give those kids up,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve been looking at them for two, three years now. They’ve progressed perfectly, and they’re all sitting there at [Triple-A] Scranton/[Wilkes-Barre]. Any one of them could contribute now if need be. We’ve already seen that in Luis Severino the last two starts. Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. Rob Refsnyder is there. James Pazos, some of the pitchers you’ve seen. Gary Sanchez is having a good year. So we’ve got some talent in Scranton, and we’re not going to give it up.”

Bird was called up earlier today, in case you missed it. He’ll serve as a backup at first base and DH for the time being. There’s really no way to get him in the lineup without sitting Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira, so we’ll see how he’s used going forward.

Many of the team’s top prospects are in Triple-A right now — or in MLB, in the case of Bird and Severino — and those are the most valuable prospects because they’re so close to helping. It made sense to hang onto them … and I also think it made sense to move some of them (not all!) for help at the deadline. The Yankees had obvious needs (pitching, second base) and they were in first place after not going to the postseason the last two years. Would have been cool to get some upgrades.

Anyway, Hal and Brian Cashman and pretty much everyone in the organization said this past offseason the Yankees will rely more on younger players going forward, and it wasn’t just talk. They’ve walked the walk this year by calling up Bird, Severino, Jacob Lindgren, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, and a bunch of others throughout the summer. It’s fun! As long as it doesn’t hurt the team’s chances of playing in October, of course.

Curry: Yankees calling up Greg Bird

Sorry, Greg, can't wear No. 20 in the show. (Presswire)
Sorry, Greg, can’t wear No. 20 in the show. (Presswire)

According to Jack Curry, the Yankees are calling up first base prospect Greg Bird. He’ll join the team tonight in Cleveland. The Yankees have not yet officially announced anything but there’s no reason to doubt Curry. The team will have to make both a 25-man and 40-man roster move to accommodate Bird.

Bird, 22, is hitting .277/.356/.469 (138 wRC+) with 23 doubles and 12 home runs in 318 plate appearances split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. I consider him the sixth best prospect in the system but prospect rankings are subjective as hell, and it wouldn’t be insane to say he’s the team’s second best prospect in the minors now that Luis Severino is in the big leagues. Here’s a snippet of Baseball America’s scouting report:

Scouts and evaluators rave about Bird’s approach as well as his bat. He’s a line-to-line hitter with the willingness to work deep counts and take walks if necessary … Overall, the people who saw him play this year picture Bird, at his peak, as a truly balanced hitter capable of hitting for average and with power enough for 20 or more home runs annually while not doing any damage in the field. His home run power is mostly to the pull side (all but one has gone to right field), but he can push doubles to all fields.

Curry says Bird will serve as a backup at first base and DH during this stretch of 16 games in 16 days. Bird is a first baseman and a first baseman only, so there’s really no way to get him into the lineup without sitting either Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira. He’ll be a lefty bat off the bench, something the Yankees could have used last night when Chris Young faced a righty with runners on second and third and two outs, for example.

I’m not sure there’s much upside to calling Bird up only to sit on the bench, but it’s not a bad move, just kind of a weird one. Had Andrew Miller not blown the save Tuesday and forced the bullpen to throw all those innings in the 16-inning game, chances are Garrett Jones would have remained with the team and Bird would still be in Triple-A. Jones was cut yesterday to get a fresh arm on the roster. Hopefully Bird can have an impact as a pinch-hitter and spot starter at first and DH.

The Yankees currently have an eight-man bullpen and a three-man bench, so I assume they’ll send down a pitcher to make room for Bird. I’m guessing Nick Goody will be demoted since he’s pitched each of the last two days and is unlikely to be available tonight. As for the 40-man roster move … I’m not sure. Cole Figueroa and Chris Martin stand out as players who could be outrighted. We’ll see.