Following two games against the Rays that required extra innings to finish, the Yankees found themselves short on available relief pitching. As a result, the team announced the promotion of left-hander Daniel Camarena. In a corresponding move, the club optioned Mike Ford to Triple-A.
Camarena, 26, joined the Yankees’ organization way back in 2011. He was the team’s 20th round draft pick. He slowly climbed the ladder through the minor leagues. Elbow surgery in 2015 halted his progress, but he recovered well and got back on the mound in 2016. After a brief stint for the RailRiders in 2017, Camarena became a minor league free agent and bounced around between the Giants, Yankees, and Twins’ systems. He’s been somewhat of a journeyman of late.
In 63 innings with Triple-A Scranton this year, Camarena has pitched to a 6.00 ERA (4.67 FIP) with some of the best strikeout (8.0 K/9) and walk rates (2.14 BB/9) of his career. Recent scouting reports are tough to come by on the southpaw, but here’s part of what Baseball America (subscription required) said about him in 2017:
Camarena’s fastball typically sits in the low-90s but touched 93 in the middle portion of the season before backing up again as the fatigue from a lost year set in down the stretch. He coupled the fastball with a full offspeed arsenal that included an above-average changeup, a get-me-over curveball and a slider he added this year to give him an extra weapon against righthanders.
Ford, meanwhile, heads back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he has been pacing the International League. The 27-year-old appeared in just one game since his most recent promotion, going 1-for-3 in the process. The Yankees figure they can roll with Edwin Encarnacion and DJ LeMahieu at first base for now.