Yankees finally call up raking infielder to aid struggling offense

chris gitten, yankees
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The New York Yankees fell to the Boston Red Sox on Friday evening in an embarrassing performance, as their offense tallied just two runs and blew multiple opportunities to drive in runners in scoring position. Totaling eight hits, they also logged 15 strikeouts, an unacceptable number. Some of the bigger victims on the evening were Gary Sanchez, who struck out all four times, Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, Brett Gardner, Gio Urshela, and DJ LeMahieu all struck out twice apiece.

It seemed that Red Sox relief arm Hirokazu Sawamura had the Yankees’ number, recording five strikeouts in just 2.0 innings.

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With the majority of Yankee bats still struggling to get going, the team has elected to call up Chris Gittens, who is currently featuring in their AAA squad. The first baseman is hitting .283, with four homers and 11 RBIs. Having climbed the ranks in the Yankees’ farm system, this will be his first Major League opportunity, and seeing exponential growth in offensive production should allow him to make a contribution in one way or another.

Defensively, he has played 14 games at first base this year, not allowing an error and recording 95 put-outs over 113 innings. He has shown quality defensive play so far, despite six errors last year over 78 games. The 6’4″, 250-pound infielder will likely give the Yankees an alternative option at 1B, after utilizing DJ LeMahieu at the position in the loss on Friday.

It is clear skipper Aaron Boone does not trust the likes of Mike Ford and would rather LeMahieu stick at second base. Odor isn’t offering enough offensively to make him a cemented starter, so giving Gittens an opportunity is a positive move and one that should be commended as a desperate change is needed.

The Yankees are preparing to take on Boston at 7:15 on Saturday evening, with Jameson Taillon on the board against Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a left-handed pitcher, currently features a 5.64 ERA over 52.2 innings, offering the Yankees a fantastic opportunity to get their offense going and extract a win in the AL East. They are currently 4.5 games back from the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Boston Red Sox have pulled away with a 3.5 game lead over New York.