Wednesday was a bad day for the Yankees, and it didn’t even involve a loss on the field. The game was rained out, forcing a doubleheader today, and worse, the team had to announce long-term injuries for both Corey Kluber and Luke Voit. Fresh off his no-hitter, Kluber will now probably be out at least eight weeks due to a right shoulder strain, and Voit’s Grade 2 oblique strain will likely keep him out of the lineup for more than a month.
So with a twin bill against the Blue Jays looming, the Yankees announced a series of roster moves. Kluber and Voit will go to the injured list and taking their spots — at least for today — will be reliever Albert Abreu and outfielder Estevan Florial. Abreu has been a constant presence on the Scranton Shuttle this year, ping-ponging back and forth between Triple-A and the majors a few times much like Michael King did earlier in 2021. Given that the Yankees are planning on using Deivi García as a starter this weekend in Detroit, this will probably be another short stay for Abreu.
The Florial news is a little more eye-catching simply because this will be his first taste of the majors in 2021 after a one-game cameo in his debut last year. In a normal season, he probably never would’ve tasted the majors in 2020, but desperate times called. Florial started this season at Double-A Somerset, his first appearance above A-ball, and after belting four homers in nine games, he was bumped up to Triple-A Scranton — perhaps partially due the chance of him playing a greater role for the Yankees in 2021 with Aaron Hicks on the shelf. Skipper Aaron Boone confirmed that Hicks is indeed expected to miss the rest of the season, which is no surprise after surgery to repair the torn tendon sheath in his wrist.
Florial’s slowed down in Triple-A Scranton, batting .176/.282/.441 in eight games, but the Yankees needed an extra position player for the doubleheader. As noted on Twitter, this may very well be a brief stay for Florial, as Giancarlo Stanton is expected to be activated from the IL on Friday, so it’ll be an easy roster move to just send Florial back down for further development after today. Regardless, he’s expected to start this evening’s nightcap.
As a minor note, the Yankees also made two other small moves. They brought up Nick Nelson to serve as the 27th man in the doubleheader today (though he’ll only be available for the second game). He was on the Opening Day roster before being demoted in mid-April for shoddy pitching, so ideally he doesn’t appear. The transactions also noted that DJ LeMahieu was activated from the paternity list. He missed Tuesday night’s game since his wife was due to give birth to their first child, and he was originally in Wednesday’s lineup before the game got cancelled.
It was indeed a one-day stay for Florial:
Following today’s doubleheader, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 28, 2021
• Returned “27th man” RHP Nick Nelson to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
• Optioned OF Estevan Florial to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.