Yankees cut struggling reliever after disastrous outing

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The New York Yankees are, evidently, not playing their best baseball right now. They are at risk of losing their fifth consecutive series if they don’t beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, and they have dropped 11 of their last 15 contests. Pitchers who had been dominating earlier in the season have lost their way, and hitters who had been performing have gone ice-cold.

It’s just one of those stretches, but the important thing, for the Yankees, is identifying the areas to improve with the deadline coming closer. One of those units is definitely the bullpen.

A few days ago, the team thought it was addressing the need for reliable bullpen arms with Phil Bickford. The righty has had good seasons in the past, but his state of form this year was a complete mystery.

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The Yankees are removing Bickford from the 40-man roster

His performance ended up answering those questions, and not in a positive way. After five mediocre appearances (including a disastrous one against the Blue Jays on Saturday), the Yankees have decided to axe him and bring up Josh Maciejewski.

“Prior to today’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves: •Selected LHP Josh Maciejewski (#63) to the active roster. •Designated RHP Phil Bickford for assignment,” the team tweeted on Sunday.

Bickford conceded five runs on Saturday, getting just two outs in the process. He turned a 3-1 deficit into a laugher, so the Yankees felt the need to replace him on the roster.

His ERA in five innings pitched is 14.40, with a 1.80 WHIP. Since he was DFA’d, the most likely scenario has Bickford finding another big league opportunity, perhaps with a team that can exercise more patience than the bullpen-needy Yankees.

As for Maciejewski, he is sporting a 4.28 ERA in 27.1 Triple-A innings.

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