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Yankees place Andrew Benintendi on IL, recall Estevan Florial

Pitcher Ryan Weber is also back in the Yankees’ clubhouse with Anthony Banda gone.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The moment that Andrew Benintendi grimaced in pain while taking a third-inning swing during Friday night’s loss, it looked like he could be in serious trouble. He reportedly heard a “pop” in his wrist and left in the middle of an at-bat, which never bodes well. X-rays soon afterward were negative, but an MRI taken today offered further concerns. The team is calling it “right wrist inflammation” for now, though manager Aaron Boone said that more tests will be needed to confirm what’s wrong.

Losing Benintendi is just a tough blow, as he was one of the few hitters aside from Aaron Judge doing much of anything. He wasn’t extraordinary, but after a slow start following his trade from Kansas City, Benintendi was hitting .300/.338/.500 with a 138 wRC+ from mid-August onward. Now, he’s heading to the injured list for an unknown amount of time, and the Yankees will have to once again reach into their Triple-A reserves. Estevan Florial is coming back to the majors for his fifth different stint with the Yankees in 2022.

The 24-year-old is 1-for-20 in limited action so far this season, but he has posted better numbers in Scranton than he did last year. The 24-year-old is hitting .290/.372/.500 with 30 doubles, 15 homers, 34 steals, and a 130 wRC+. Florial still has a concerningly high strikeout rate at 30.1-percent though, and relatedly, the Yankees have been hesitant about using him too much in their own lineup. With their offense continuing to put up zeroes however, Boone might not have a choice* other than to try something different.

*That does not apply to today’s lineup though, as Boone is using Aaron Hicks in left because... reasons. Florial is with the team.

Anyway, Benintendi’s absence means that Judge’s best hopes for any offensive support are the following:

  • Giancarlo Stanton, who hasn’t found his timing at all since returning from the IL
  • DJ LeMahieu, who is playing poorly through a toe injury that has sapped his power
  • Gleyber Torres, mired in a horrendous second-half slump that might end his Yankees career
  • Hicks and Josh Donaldson, who are both hitting like they’re toast
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa, a contact hitter who has a 70 wRC+ in the second half

In other words, Judge just has Jose Trevino and a couple of rookies in Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza. Egad.

In another move, pitcher Ryan Weber is back for another go-around with the team since Anthony Banda has been designated for assignment. Weber has made three appearances with New York in 2022, allowing one run on three hits and one walk in 7.2 innings. He’s done his job! Weber also has a 3.86 ERA and 4.56 FIP in 39.2 innings for Triple-A Scranton this year. He was scheduled to start on Saturday but flew down to Tampa to take Banda’s spot on the roster instead.

Banda has pitched for five different teams in the past three years, and from what little we saw of him, there’s a good reason why. He was picked up pretty much just because Aroldis Chapman had to go on the IL due to his tattoo infection and the Yankees needed a body in the bullpen. In just 0.2 innings across two games, he walked five batters — including two last night with the bases loaded to make it a laugher — and gave up three runs. Weber could simply be replacement-level and be better than Banda. High bar!