Yankees lose Clay Holmes to IL, call up three amid slump

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Clay Holmes Yankees
New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes runs into position, as Tampa Bay Rays’ Francisco Mejia grounds out to end the baseball game Wednesday June 15, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The Yankees made a slew of roster moves before they squared off for the final game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Reliever Clay Holmes was placed on the 15-day injured list and Tim Locastro and Miguel Andujar were optioned to Triple-A. 

The Yankees also recalled prospects Oswaldo Cabrera and Estevan Florial along with pitcher Ron Marinaccio. 

Holmes’ IL stint is retroactive to Aug. 14. 

Manager Aaron Boone didn’t appear to be too concerned with Holmes’ injury. The reliever told reporters he had been dealing with back tightness following Tuesday’s loss

“Not real concern,” Boone said. “We’re hoping that it’s just the 15 days. He came up Sunday actually just on catch play just his back spasmed up on him. It’s been a few days. He went out and threw yesterday and it was kind of one of those things like maybe he can get through, but then we’re like do we want to be in a compromised situation with him? Especially as he’s working through some things, so hopefully it’s something that’s a couple more days where he’s down and we ramp him right back up.” 

Boone later added that they didn’t think it was anything structurally. 

Holmes has been the Yankees closer for the better part of the year after he overtook Aroldis Chapman for the job earlier this year. The reliever had been dominant through the first half of the season, but had struggled since the All-Star break and had blown three saves during that span. 

The Holmes injury does open up the idea of Chapman returning to the closer role, but Boone indicated that he’ll call on pitchers to close out games based on matchups. 

“We’re just gonna as far as who’s available to us that day and sometimes where we are in the lineup, we just gotta try and put everyone in the best position to be at their best. It could be a number of guys,” Boone said. 

Cabrera, Florial in the lineup

The two Yankees prospects were in the lineup for the Bronx Bombers on Wednesday as New York tried to crack their current slump. Florial started in center field for the Yanks while Cabrera was at third.

Both players had been relishing the chance to get the call, especially after an exciting night for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate. Cabrera had both his parents in the stands at Yankee Stadium along with several friends. 

The Yankees’ offense has been in a major slump over the past week and both prospects are ready to do whatever the team needs of them.

“Wherever they need me I’m just ready,” Florial said before the game. “Every time they need I go out there and try to help the team. We’re excited to be here and we’re excited to do whatever I can to help.” 

New York Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu follows through on a single against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Baltimore.AP Photo/Gail Burton

LeMahieu avoided IL

DJ LeMahieu avoided IL and was available for the Yankees during Wednesday night’s game. He had been dealing with a toe issue that had kept him out of the previous three games. He wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he was expected to return to it on Thursday when the Yankees welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to the Bronx.

He went through his normal pregame routine on the field Wednesday and he said inside the clubhouse that he had tested the toe on Tuesday. LeMahieu would not have changed the way he handled the injury if the Yankees had been in a different position, he said when asked.

For more New York Yankees news, turn to AMNY.com

New York has been on a skid currently and has dropped 11 of their last 13 games and dealing with a number of injuries. 

“The last three days was definitely hard to watch and not be a part of it,” LeMahieu said. “But I just tell them how I feel and we go from there.” 

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