Yankees call up promising bullpen arm, place trade acquisition on IL

matt krook, yankees
Mar 22, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Matt Krook (77) throws a pitch in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees prepare for their second showdown against the Detroit Tigers in a three-game series this Wednesday, the team’s dynamics are shifting. Currently enjoying a four-game winning streak, the Yankees are pinning their hopes on young prospects for a brighter September. Although their playoff odds are still long, in baseball, anything can happen.

Roster Update: Matt Krook Recalled, Keynan Middleton to IL

In a Wednesday afternoon announcement, the Yankees revealed a roster switch: left-handed relief pitcher Matt Krook has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton. He replaces right-handed pitcher Keynan Middleton, who’s hitting the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.

Matt Krook: A Closer Look

While Krook has only pitched three innings for the Yankees this season, he boasts an intriguing skill set. With an ERA of 21, he may seem a questionable choice, but his repertoire—featuring a sinker, sweeper, and cutter—adds diversity to the team’s pitching options. Averaging about 89 mph on his fastball, Krook has a knack for putting a significant break on his pitches. However, his lack of velocity could be a vulnerability, which is something to watch for.

Keynan Middleton: Season Review and Future Prospects

Middleton, a 29-year-old acquired from the Chicago White Sox in early August, has made quite an impression. Over 49.2 innings this year, he’s posted a 3.08 ERA, notched 64 strikeouts, and secured two saves. More impressively, Middleton ranks high in several key metrics: 89th percentile in chase rate, 97th percentile in whiff rate, and 92nd percentile in strikeout rate. Although powerful—averaging 95.5 mph on his fastball—he sometimes struggles with pitch location.

His four-seam fastball has resulted in a batting average of just .125 this season, while his change-up is holding at .191. Middleton is heading to free agency post-2023, but the Yankees might retain him on an economical contract to bolster their pitching staff.

The Yankees are Entering a Much Brighter Stage of the 2023 Season

The Yankees are clearly investing in their future while keeping an eye on the present. With the roster moves and young talent taking the field, the upcoming game against the Detroit Tigers offer more experience to budding talent.

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