Yankees put Keynan Middleton on IL in latest bullpen blow

04:32 07.09.2023

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees announced that Keynan Middleton had been placed on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation. The move was made retroactive to Sunday, and while the Yankees expressed hope that Middleton could return before the end of the season, the extent of his absence remains uncertain. Manager Aaron Boone addressed the issue before the Yankees' game against the Detroit Tigers, stating that Middleton's injury was inflammation and not expected to keep him out for an extended period.

The Yankees acquired Middleton from the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline, and he had quickly become a valuable addition to the bullpen. In his 11 appearances for the Yankees, Middleton had only given up one run across 13 2/3 innings, striking out an impressive 17 batters. Unfortunately for the team, this marked the second time in just four days that they had lost a reliever to the injured list, with Ian Hamilton suffering a groin strain over the weekend. However, the Yankees remain hopeful that Hamilton will also be able to return before the season concludes.

To fill the void in the bullpen left by Middleton's absence, the Yankees called up left-handed reliever Matt Krook from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Krook had struggled in his two appearances for the Yankees this season, surrendering seven runs in just three innings. Despite his struggles at the major league level, Krook had performed well in Triple-A, boasting an impressive 0.92 ERA over 29 2/3 innings. Command has been an ongoing issue for Krook throughout his career, but manager Aaron Boone acknowledged that when he is in the strike zone, Krook can be a formidable opponent for hitters, especially left-handed ones.

In other injury news for the Yankees, Nestor Cortes is scheduled to begin a throwing program this weekend after being shut down for four weeks due to a left rotator cuff strain. However, Boone admitted that it is unlikely Cortes will have enough time to build back up and return before the end of the season. The throwing program will be crucial in determining whether Cortes will require surgery on his rotator cuff. The left-hander is currently on the injured list for the second time this season due to the same injury, but he had previously stated that surgery had not been discussed.

Meanwhile, in Wednesday's game against the Tigers, Yankees catcher Austin Wells made his Yankee Stadium debut, going 0-for-4 at the plate. He was behind the plate for pitcher Clarke Schmidt, who allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings. However, the most significant moment of the game came in the first inning when Giancarlo Stanton's line drive, clocked at a staggering 119.5 mph, struck Tigers starter Matt Manning's right foot. The impact resulted in a fractured foot, ending Manning's night and effectively concluding his season. Despite the injury, Manning was able to make the play and throw Stanton out at first base. Nonetheless, he left the field in obvious pain and did not return to the game, leaving the Tigers to rely on their bullpen for the remainder of the night.

With these recent injuries to key members of their bullpen, the Yankees face added challenges as they try to maintain their position in the playoff race. Their hope now rests on the recovery and potential returns of Middleton, Hamilton, and Cortes, as well as the performance of Krook and the rest of the bullpen in their absence.

/ Thursday, September 7, 2023, 4:32 AM /

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