Thursday night was close to a worst-case scenario for the Yankees’ pitching staff, as starter Jhony Brito got absolutely clobbered by the Twins in an 11-2 defeat. The rookie recorded only two outs while coughing up seven of those runs, and manager Aaron Boone was forced to rely on two relatively unknown names to eat up the majority of the innings. Colten Brewer tossed 3.1 frames and Ian Hamilton covered three. Even utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa tossed 12 pitches in a scoreless ninth.
Brito’s short outing meant that the relief corps would probably need a boost before the Yankees began the next three games against Minnesota. So a move was made on Friday afternoon to recall reliever Greg Weissert from Triple-A Scranton, and since he was out of options, Brewer was designated for assignment to make room.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 14, 2023
Recalled RHP Greg Weissert (#85) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Designated RHP Colten Brewer for assignment.
The Long Island native and Fordham grad Weissert debuted for New York last year, when he pitched in 11.1 innings across 12 games with a 5.56 ERA, 4.17 FIP, and 0.971 WHIP. He flashed a nasty-looking sweeper as part of his repertoire, though he would sometimes demonstrate shaky control rather than just inducing whiffs.
Nevertheless, Weissert was one of the last cuts from the bullpen in spring training, and his options came in handy since the Yankees didn’t want to lose Hamilton just yet. In five games at Triple-A, the 28-year-old only allowed one run, hit, and walk apiece in 5.1 innings. Weissert last pitched on Tuesday, so he could potentially go multiple innings in a pinch, though Boone is more likely to restrict him to one unless it’s a blowout either way.
Brewer drew the short end of the straw as the player who had to go to make room for Weissert. Hamilton had an option per Roster Resource, but the Yankees preferred him to Brewer, who they only acquired from the Rays just before Opening Day. Like Brito (and unlike Hamilton), Brewer got rocked by the Twins last night but had acquitted himself well in two previous outings. On April 10th in particular, the 30-year-old escaped a bases-loaded, none-out in Cleveland while covering the middle three innings after a bad start from Clarke Schmidt. The Yankees are hoping that Brewer clears waivers and stays with the organization, but if this it, then oh well. Tough business in wake of eating a trio of innings.
Brito was also an option to be demoted, but the Yankees need a fifth starter for each of the next two weeks. If they demoted him, then he wouldn’t be eligible for a recall until April 28th (barring an injury elsewhere on the roster). So unlike earlier in April, they’re going to keep Brito on the 26-man roster.