The Yankees are hoping to break out of their slump in any way possible and that includes possibly calling up some help from the minors.
Manager Aaron Boone didn’t rule out outfield Estevan Florial being called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to the Yankees’ latest loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays and a report from NJ.com suggested that it was imminent. The Yankees skipper did try to downplay the report after the game saying that “we haven’t decided anything for certain yet.”
Still, it seems all signs point to Florial arriving in the Bronx at some point very soon as the Bombers’ slump continued. The Yankees have dropped 11 of their last 13 games going into Wednesday’s series finale with the Rays and their offenses had struggled mightily.
Aaron Hicks’ ugly night on Monday also hasn’t helped matters and helped the prevailing thought that Florial could make his way up to the Yankees. It has also helped that he’s put together a strong season in 2022.
“He’s put together a really good year down there, so he’s certainly earned putting himself in that mix, so we’ll see,” Boone said before the game.
Florial and the RailRiders were in St. Paul, Minn on Tuesday night where the outfielder helped the team rally from a 9-0 deficit to win 10-9, which set the franchise record for the largest comeback. He went 2-for-4 on the night with a double and two RBIs.
In 89 games, Florial has hit .286 in Triple-A with a .368 on-base percentage, 14 home runs and 32 stolen bases.
“He’s a special talent. The time I got a chance to play with him, seeing him in Spring Training he’s a guy that always wants to learn,” Aaron Judge said. “He’s a hard worker and does the little things to help his team. … If it’s true (that he’s called up) he’ll definitely help us out.”
He has had a cup of coffee in the majors playing in 16 games over the past three years and batted .206 during those games while striking out 12 times. His longest stint in New York came last year right before the Yankees acquired Joey Gallo, but his stays with the big club have often been short.
Boone said that finding consistency at the highest level had been one of the reasons why Florial hadn’t stuck in the past.
“I think this is the best year he’s had in a while,” Boone said. Where he’s been mostly healthy and put up a really productive offensive season that kind of matches up with the skillset and tools that he’s always flashed to us. And I feel like even in his short stints with us over the years, even in years where he hasn’t had the kind of year he’s having this year, he’s represented well.
“You see it. This year, he’s mostly been healthy and put that season together at a higher level in the minor leagues. Hopefully, that’s something that is a sign of him getting ready to knock in and breakthrough.”
What appeared to facilitate the move was the rough performance by Hicks in Monday’s game where he made a blunder in the field that cost New York runs and then went o-for-3 at the plate. He has struggled to regain his form after returning from wrist surgery that cost him most of last season.
The Yankees have sensed the hardship that Hicks has been going through this season.
“I think frustrated and searching for answers about struggles and the season a little bit,” Boone said about Hicks’ mentality. “I definitely sensed his disappointment, sadness yesterday and he’s wearing that. The uniforms heavy for him right now and it is for different people at different times throughout the year in different ways. You try and tap into that and support that and get ready as best you can.”