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Keynan Middleton hits the IL as Matt Krook returns to the Yankees

After a career year, Middleton will likely end it on the IL, but the funky lefty, Matt Krook, will get another shot.

New York Yankees v St. Louis Cardinals - Game One Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Yankees have some movement at the back of their bullpen. Keynan Middleton is heading to the IL with right shoulder inflammation, and in the corresponding move, Matt Krook is returning to the big leagues after earlier cameos. For most of the season, Wandy Peralta has been the only left handed reliever for the Yankees. Krook’s addition now gives them two options as they head into the last few weeks of the season. For Krook, whatever time he gets will essentially be considered an audition for next year’s roster.

For Middleton, this injury comes at a tough time. He was on a minor league deal with Chicago and is facing free agency at the end of the season. Over the course of his 49.2 innings, he’s been very solid with a 3.08 ERA and 3.90 FIP. But his numbers in the Bronx have been even better, as in 13.1 frames, he has a 0.68 ERA and 2.06 FIP. Fingers crossed this is more of a wear and tear thing and not anything significant. He’s he hasn’t had this usage rate since 2017, so his body may be wearing down after the long year. Either way, that’ll likely be it for him in a Yankees uniform — unless they really liked his stuff and want to re-sign him — as shoulder inflammation is tough to overcome in a short period.

While Krook is more advanced in age at 28, he is still looking to establish himself as a legitimate big league reliever. He was up with the club a few days at a time during the year, but only put together three innings across two games. In each of those, he was hit around quite a bit and showed very little control. And while Krook has been able to dominate Triple-A hitters to the tune of a 0.92 ERA in 29.1 innings, he has still walked 16.9 percent of the hitters he has faced. His focus in the next few weeks will be to challenge the zone and let hitters beat his funky delivery and arm angle.