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Is it time for the Yankees to call up Jose Pirela?

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With the offense struggling to put up runs consistently, the Yankees may want to consider calling up Jose Pirela

USA TODAY Sports

Outside of a couple of big games, the Yankees' offense has looked rather lifeless, scoring an average of  3.3 runs per game in the last 23 contests. The big-money power bats (outside of Mark Teixeira) still haven't hit, and although we're less than a month away from the Trade Deadline, it still might be a little too early to acquire a big bat to add to the mix. For now, the only options are those from within; perhaps even down at the minor league level.

In the minors (Triple-A, to be exact), second baseman Rob Refsnyder has gained all of the headlines, thanks to his absolutely torrid 61-game stretch between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton (.996 OPS). But it's Jose Pirela who has also done well with the bat at the higher levels, hitting .321/.360/.458 in 68 games at Triple-A. Pirela, now a former second baseman, has seen most of his playing time come in the outfield, with Refsnyder manning second. Pirela has also seen some time at first, where the Yankees currently don't have a viable backup to Teixeira at the big league level.

Of course, if the Yankees were to call up Pirela, he would see his time in right field. This is mostly because the Yankees love Brian Roberts at second base no matter what he does with the bat and the fact that the right field situation in the Bronx is a complete mess. Ichiro has a .632 OPS the last 39 games with zero extra base hits in that span; Alfonso Soriano is, at the very best, a platoon "outfielder" at this point in his career; Carlos Beltran is a non-factor in the outfield with his bone spur in his right elbow.

At the same time, it would be interesting to see who they'd send down/release if they were to call up Pirela. Not only would they need to make room for him on the 25-man roster, but they'd need to find space for him on the 40-man as well (Someone like Matt Daley might be in the lead on the 40-man chopping block) . Yangervis Solarte has hit the wall hard since the start of June, thus resulting in reduced playing time. But, if they were to send Solarte down, it'd mean that Kelly Johnson would become the full-time third baseman with Brendan Ryan being the only real backup plan, so that may not be an option.

The Yankees could always cut their ties with Soriano, but releasing a grizzled veteran in favor of a youngster at Triple-A would be a bit of a surprise coming from this team. For what it's worth, GM Brian Cashman did say that moves would need to be made if there were guys struggling on the big league team, so perhaps there's some hope here. For now, the Yankees are right in the middle of the American League East race, despite playing mediocre type of baseball, but they may need to make some changes if they want to advance further in the standings; adding Jose Pirela to the big league roster could be the start of that.