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Yankees call up lefty reliever Matt Krook

If the 28-year-old gets into a game, it will be his MLB debut.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees were happy to get 4.2 solid innings from Randy Vásquez in his MLB debut last night, but since they’ll get Domingo Germán back from suspension on Monday in Seattle, they wanted to get a fresh arm to take Vásquez’s roster spot. So the rookie was demoted after the game, and this morning, New York called up a new rookie to take his spot: lefty Matt Krook.

Added to the 40-man roster back in November, Krook has been a candidate in the early offing to make an MLB appearance at some point. This will be his first time in the majors though.

It’s been a long road for the 28-year-old, who the Giants drafted out of the University of Oregon in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He was dealt to the Rays in the December 2017 Evan Longoria trade, and after a few seasons of middling numbers in A-ball and Double-A, the Yankees selected him off waivers in December 2020.

Krook has done a nice job of catching eyes in the organization since his arrival and he’s spent parts of the last three seasons at Triple-A Scranton, needing only seven sterling outings at Double-A Somerset in 2021 to put that level behind him. The Yankees converted him to the bullpen at the start of 2023 and the southpaw has really taken to it.

Krook has a 1.04 ERA and 1.79 FIP in 17.1 innings of work, with an electric 47.9 strikeout percentage and 17.6 K/9. He has yet to get a handle on his control though, as he’s already walked 12 batters for an unsightly 16.9-percent walk rate and 6.2 BB/9. He does have yet to allow a homer in 2023 though, and his sinker/slider combo features some impressive movement.

Like Nick Ramirez, Greg Weissert, and Deivi García before him, Krook will probably only end up pitching this weekend if the score isn’t close, or if the Yankees’ bullpen gets worn out.