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Yankees activate Keynan Middleton from IL, option Yoendrys Gómez

The Trade Deadline addition comes back for the season’s final weekend.

MLB: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees shuffled the bullpen setup one more time in advance of the last series of 2023. Keynan Middleton will be activated from the IL for tonight’s game in Kansas City. As the corresponding move, the team optioned Yoendrys Gómez to Triple-A.

Gómez was just recalled a week ago when Wandy Peralta went on the IL after a strong minor league season at Double-A Somerset. He threw two scoreless innings in relief on Thursday against Toronto in his MLB debut. He struck out four of eight batters faced and showed solid stuff, turning some heads against a potent lineup that other Yankee pitchers couldn’t quell that day.

Middleton, 29, was acquired from the White Sox at the Trade Deadline for minor league pitcher Juan Carela. The seventh-year big leaguer and former top-100 draft pick showed flashes of effectiveness in previous stops as well as in Chicago, and he’s blossomed during his short time under Matt Blake’s tutelage. Surrendering just one earned run in 13.1 innings so far with the Yankees, Middleton put together the beginnings of what looked like another bargain bin relief find using his effective changeup. However, he landed on the IL at the beginning of September with shoulder inflammation.

Several diamonds in the rough have paid off lately in a bullpen sporting a 3.39 ERA on the season, tops in baseball. Nothing much has gone right in the grand scheme of things, but the ‘pen has anchored the team all year. The Yankees will have to bid for Middleton’s services beyond this weekend if they so desire, as his one-year, $800,000 deal initially signed with the White Sox ends after 2023.