Yankees call up Capuano and Goody, send down Pinder, designate Jones for assignment

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

As expected, the Yankees have made some moves to beef up their bullpen following last night’s 16-inning marathon loss. Both Chris Capuano and Nick Goody have been called up from Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. Branden Pinder was sent down and Garrett Jones was designated for assignment to clear roster spots. The Jones move also clears a 40-man spot for Capuano.

Pinder threw two innings and 20 pitches last night, taking the loss. Joe Girardi has thrown Pinder into some tight spots the last few days and he wound up with two losses on his record. Sucks. Jones re-signed with the team last week following Dustin Ackley‘s injury and did not get into a game. Bryan Mitchell, who threw 60 pitches last night and won’t be able available for a few days, is still with the team.

Capuano was scheduled to start for the RailRiders today, so he’ll be available for multiple innings tonight if necessary, which I really hope is not the case. He was able to get stretched out to 65 pitches in Triple-A after being designated for assignment two weeks ago. Capuano had a 6.97 ERA (5.00 FIP) in 31 innings for the Yankees before being cut and accepting his assignment to Triple-A.

Goody threw 16 pitches in Triple-A last night and was called up simply because there weren’t any other options. Caleb Cotham and Nick Rumbelow were both sent down last week and were unable to be recalled due to the ten-day rule. Goody was the only healthy call-up-able pitcher on the 40-man roster. He allowed one run in 1.1 innings with the Yankees earlier this year.

The Yankees have been talking about using a spot sixth starter at some point during this road trip and keeping Mitchell around will allow them to do that at some point. Had he been sent down, they wouldn’t have been able to call him up for ten days. Cutting Jones means the Yankees are down to a three-man bench, however. That will change once rosters expand in three weeks.

Yanks release Esmil Rogers so he could pursue opportunity in Korea

Call me Esmil. (Presswire)
Call me Esmil. (Presswire)

It’s not the big trade we’re all waiting for, but the Yankees did make a minor move this afternoon. The team granted Esmil Rogers his release from Triple-A Scranton so he could sign with the Hanwha Eagles in Korea. The Yankees will receive an undisclosed amount of cash for letting Rogers go.

Rogers, 29, had a 6.27 ERA (4.62 FIP) in 33 innings for the Yankees earlier this year. He was dropped from the 40-man roster and sent to Triple-A Scranton, where he worked as a starter and hung around as a depth arm the team never did need. Rogers has a 5.59 ERA (4.45 FIP) in 454 career big league innings, most with the Rockies.

The Yankees don’t have a starter for tomorrow’s game thanks to Michael Pineda‘s injury, and Rogers did line up perfectly to pitch that day, but obviously he’s not an option now. Esmil deserves props for soaking up all those innings in the 19-inning game earlier this year. Otherwise the Yankees loved his stuff a little too much.

Yankees acquire Dustin Ackley from Mariners from Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez

Beard's gotta go, Dustin. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
Beard’s gotta go, Dustin. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

While we wait for pitching, the Yankees have made a move to possibly improve the bench. The club has acquired utility man Dustin Ackley from the Mariners for outfielder Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez, both teams announced. Ackley is currently in Minnesota, so he won’t join the Yankees in time for tonight’s game. He’ll probably meet them in Chicago tomorrow.

Ackley, 27, was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft, taken right after Stephen Strasburg. He was teammates with Adam Warren at UNC. The Yankees have reportedly been after Ackley for quite a while now — they talked to the Mariners about him last year, but backed away when Seattle wanted Bryan Mitchell. Earlier today we heard the two sides were discussing Ackley, Flores, and Ben Gamel.

So far this season Ackley is hitting .215/.270/.366 (77 wRC+) in 207 plate appearances as a part-time player. He showed a lot of promise by hitting .273/.348/.417 (117 wRC+) during his 90-game MLB debut back in 2011, but owns a .236/.297/.356 (85 wRC+) batting line in over 1,800 plate appearances since. Ackley has played first and second bases and well as left field in the big leagues.

The immediate question is how does Ackley fit on the roster and how will he be used? He is out of minor league options, so someone is coming off the 25-man roster, and the Yankees could either slot him into the Garrett Jones role or make him the everyday second baseman. My guess? They’ll try to turn him into their version of Brock Holt, the supersub who can play anywhere. This blurb from Ken Rosenthal back in June sticks out to me:

One problem with a six-man rotation is that it all but forces a team to carry 13 pitchers. Alas, it’s difficult to construct a roster that way without a multi-position threat such as Ben Zobrist or Brock Holt on the bench.

Such players, of course, are rare, which is why Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he recently told the head of the team’s minor-league department, “We’ve got to create one.”

We’ll see how it goes. For what it’s worth, the team’s press release identified Ackley as an outfielder only, not as a second baseman or first baseman or infielder or anything like that. Just an outfielder. It seems likely Ackley will replace Jones on the roster, but who knows.

I ranked Flores and Ramirez as the 18th and 30th best prospect in the system last week, respectively. The Yankees have more upper level outfielders and relievers than they know what to do with, so it’s no surprise they used that surplus in a trade. They still have Gamel, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Aaron Judge, and Jake Cave in the outfield and a small army of righty relievers in Triple-A.

Flores, 23, made his MLB debut earlier this year and stood out more for his glove than his bat in 12 games. He is hitting .286/.377/.417 (113 wRC+) with seven homers in 73 Triple-A games this year. Flores has a classic left-handed platoon outfielder’s profile, a Seth Smith type, and he’ll have a much greater opportunity for playing time in Seattle. I would not at all be surprised to see him carve out a long career as a useful role player.

The 25-year-old Ramirez has been up and down a few times the last two years, allowing eleven runs on 17 hits and eleven walks in 13 big league innings. Yikes! He’s struck out a dozen. Ramirez has a 2.90 ERA (2.70 FIP) with 26.7 K% and 11.0 BB% in 49.2 Triple-A innings this year. He has superb stuff — at his best, Ramirez sits mid-90s and gets swings and miss with both his changeup and slider — but his command is spotty and his injury history is ugly.

Ackley will earn $2.6M this season and remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in both 2016 and 2017. I figured he would be a non-tender candidate after the season, but I’m guessing the Yankees didn’t just trade Flores and Ramirez so they could non-tender Ackley in November. Flores and Ramirez both have all six years of team control remaining.

It remains to be seen how the Yankees will use Ackley going forward. This is a move designed to upgrade the margins of the roster, nothing else. They’re taking a shot on talent — Baseball America ranked Ackley as the 11th and 12th best prospect in all of baseball in 2010 and 2011, respectively — and hoping Ackley will thrive outside of cavernous Safeco Field and in lefty friendly Yankee Stadium.

Yankees designate Chris Capuano for assignment, call up Caleb Cotham

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

This isn’t unexpected following last night’s debacle. The Yankees have designated left-hander Chris Capuano for assignment, the team announced. Right-hander Caleb Cotham has been called up from Triple-A Scranton to take his spot on the roster and give the club a fresh arm in the bullpen tonight.

Capuano, 36, allowed five runs on three hits and five walks in two-thirds of an inning in last night’s spot start. When asked if he felt his roster spot was in jeopardy after the game, Capuano told reporters it is “not my area. They’re going to try to do what they can to make the team better.”

The Yankees re-signed Capuano to a one-year deal worth $5M this offseason. He was slated to be the fifth starter before suffering a quad injury covering first base in Spring Training. Adam Warren took the job and Capuano settled into a long relief role. Capuano had a 6.97 ERA (4.98 FIP) in 31 innings this year.

The move means righty Diego Moreno will hang around a little longer as the team’s long reliever. He replaced Capuano last night and chucked 5.1 no-hit innings. The score was lopsided, yeah, but Moreno had an opportunity to show the team what he can do, and he took advantage. He’ll be unavailable for a few days, however.

Cotham, 27, will be the 12th player to make his MLB debut with the Yankees this season whenever he gets into a game, and that doesn’t include Taylor Dugas, Joel De La Cruz, and Nick Goody, who were called up but didn’t play in a game. Cotham has a 2.17 ERA (2.02 FIP) with 29.1 K% and 5.5 BB% in 45.2 relief innings split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year.

Cotham (fifth round) is the sixth member of the team’s 2009 draft class to reach the big leagues, joining Slade Heathcott (supplemental first), John Ryan Murphy (supplemental second), Warren (fourth), Shane Greene (15th), and Bryan Mitchell (16th). Tyler Lyons (10th) and Jake Petricka (34th) did not sign and have since reached MLB with the Cardinals and White Sox, respectively.

Yankees will call up Rob Refsnyder on Saturday


10:30pm: Joe Girardi confirmed Refsnyder will indeed be called up and in the lineup the next two days following tonight’s game. “Refsnyder will be here. We will see two lefties and he will be here tomorrow. He’s making strides on defense and we will see,” said the skipper.

7:23pm: According to Jack Curry, the Yankees will call up second base prospect Rob Refsnyder tomorrow. He is not in tonight’s Triple-A Scranton lineup, not that we have any reason to doubt Curry’s reporting. The Yankees will have to make both a 25-man and 40-man roster move to accommodate Refsnyder.

Refsnyder, 24, is hitting .290/.387/.413 (136 wRC+) with seven home runs, 44 walks, and 44 strikeouts in 81 games with the RailRiders this season. He’s been better of late too, putting up a .299/.413/.445 (155 wRC+) batting line with 23 walks and 14 strikeouts in 37 games since June 1st.

The Yankees are facing lefties the next two games (Eduardo Rodriguez, who Refsnyder faced in Triple-A earlier this year, and Wade Miley), so Refsnyder figures to step right into the starting lineup. Stephen Drew has not hit a lick all season (72 wRC+) but does have value defensively. Refsnyder doesn’t. It’ll be interesting to see if this is a platoon situation or if Refsnyder gets the job outright.

Chase Headley‘s calf issue is clearing up and he could return to the lineup tomorrow, in which case Cole Figueroa would be the obvious roster casualty. Gregorio Petit is the other candidate. Either way, this move was a long-time coming. Second base has been a black hole all year.

Yankees place Beltran on 15-day DL, recall Flores and Petit

(Brian Blanco/Getty)
(Brian Blanco/Getty)

The Yankees have placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain, the team announced. Ramon Flores and Gregorio Petit were both called up from Triple-A Scranton in corresponding moves. Taylor Dugas was optioned down to Triple-A to clear the other roster spot.

Beltran, 38, left Tuesday’s game in Anaheim after grabbing his side during an at-bat. He actually stayed in to finish the at-bat before being removed between innings. Beltran told reporters his oblique had been bothering him for a few days but the discomfort was manageable. Beltran went for tests yesterday that showed the strain.

Although he is hitting an average-ish .260/.309/.430 (102 wRC+) overall this season, Beltran has been much more productive since May 1st, hitting .299/.346/.494 (132 wRC+) in his last 188 plate appearances. The Yankees will miss his bat in the middle of the order for sure. His defense? Not so much. The lineup is a little shorter now though.

Flores wasn’t called up when Beltran initially got hurt because he couldn’t be recalled — he was still in his ten-day window after being sent down last week and the team wasn’t sure if Beltran needed to be placed on the DL yet. His ten days are up now. Beltran’s injury allowed Petit to come back before his ten days were up. He was sent down last weekend.

The Yankees are currently have Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury (knee), Slade Heathcott (quad), and Mason Williams (shoulder) on the DL, so they’re running out of outfielders. Their depth has been put to the test. Ellsbury might be back soon and Williams is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow, but there have been no updates on him. Heathcott will miss several more weeks.

Chris Young and Garrett Jones have both played well of late, though Girardi has given the majority of the playing time to Young, even against righties. My guess is Flores plays left, Young plays right, and Brett Gardner mans center for the time being. Once Ellsbury comes back, they can figure out a new alignment then.

Yanks call up Taylor Dugas, outright Esmil Rogers; Carlos Beltran day-to-day for time being


The Yankees have called up outfielder Taylor Dugas from Double-A Trenton, the team announced. Esmil Rogers has been outrighted back to Triple-A Scranton, which clears both a 25-man and 40-man roster spot for Dugas. The Yankees are back to a normal seven-man bullpen and a four-man bench.

Dugas was called up simply because the Yankees couldn’t call up Ramon Flores — he was sent down eight days ago and players have to wait ten days to be called back up unless someone is placed on the DL, and Carlos Beltran has not been placed on the DL after leaving last night’s game with a ribcage issue. He is day-to-day for now and will undergo tests when the team gets back to New York.

So far this season Beltran is hitting .260/.309/.430 (102 wRC+) with seven homers, which isn’t all that good for a DH masquerading as an outfielder. To be fair, Beltran has been much better of late, hitting .299/.346/.494 (132 wRC+) since May 1st. The Yankees will miss him in the lineup. No doubt. Good thing he’s only day-to-day and it isn’t something more serious.

Dugas, 25, was New York’s eighth round pick in 2012, and he’s hitting only .198/.316/.235 (67 wRC+) in 54 games with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. He hit .299/.399/.390 (126 wRC+) at the same two levels last year. Dugas is a left-handed hitting bat control guy with a good eye at the plate (career 13.6 BB% and 11.7 K%) and strong defense in all three outfield spots.

The Yankees are currently without Jacoby Ellsbury (knee), Slade Heathcott (quad), and Mason Williams (shoulder), though Ellsbury is currently on a minor league rehab assignment and Williams is eligible to be activated off the DL on Saturday. Gregorio Petit is still in his ten-day window like Flores and the only other healthy position player on the 40-man roster is Gary Sanchez.

Dugas got the call because he’s only needed for a few days and won’t clog up the 40-man roster. The Yankees don’t have to worry too much about sending him through waivers when they need another 40-man spot down the road. Harsh, but hey, Dugas gets access to quality health care for life now. Spending a day in the bigs comes with some great perks.

Rogers was called back up from Triple-A Scranton over the weekend because the bullpen needed a fresh arm. He didn’t get into a game and as far as I know he didn’t even warm up in the bullpen.