Yankees place newly-acquired infielder on the IL with abductor injury

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
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With the New York Yankees riding the hot hand in Oswaldo Cabrera, newcomer Jon Berti hasn’t been able to get much playing time, and that will continue. Aaron Boone announced that the Yankees are placing Berti on the injured list with an abductor injury, with the timeline for his return remaining unknown. As a result, infielder Kevin Smith will come up in his place, with Ron Marinaccio heading to Cleveland as well. The roster moves that correspond to those two are the aforementioned IL placement for Berti and Josh Maciejewski being designated for assignment.

This opens up the 40-man roster spot needed to bring up Kevin Smith while also opening up a roster spot for Ron Marinaccio to come up in their bullpen.

Aaron Boone Announces Flurry of Moves For the Yankees, Jon Berti on IL

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
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The Yankees traded outfield prospect John Cruz to acquire utilityman Jon Berti prior to Opening Day in Houston, but the initial results have been subpar for the veteran infielder. Hitting .211 with a 37 wRC+ through his first six games with the Bronx Bombers, he’s been a defense-first player in his short stint. With the announcement of this injury, he won’t be on the field for a bit, although the extent of his injury remains to be seen.

Kevin Smith, who was one of the finalists to make the team out of Spring Training, comes up in his place to be their utility infielder. The 27-year-old infielder has struggled mightily in Triple-A early on, with a 40 wRC+ and 41% strikeout rate, but their lack of options to turn to created a need for a temporary replacement on the bench. Smith is a New York native and can play all around the infield, and the Yankees are hoping his versatility can keep them afloat in certain games.

DJ LeMahieu could begin rehab games sometime soon which certainly helps the infield depth chart because of this new injury. If they get the veteran infielder back promptly, then the bench looks a lot better with both LeMahieu and the red-hot Oswaldo Cabrera getting the majority of games at third base for the Yankees.

ron marcinaccio, yankees
May 11, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Ron Marinaccio (97) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees needing bullpen depth as well, they turned to Ron Marinaccio to replace Josh Maciewjewski, who came up for one inning and tossed a four-pitch scoreless frame in his MLB debut. We’re familiar with Marinaccio, who was a high-leverage reliever for the team in 2022 but fell off a cliff in 2023 due to command and home run issues. In his five innings with the Scranton Railriders, he hasn’t allowed an earned run with four strikeouts to one walk.

His fastball velocity hasn’t returned to form, but the early results are somewhat promising for a pitcher who hasn’t had consistent success at the professional level in a year. The return dates for guys like Tommy Kahnle remain unclear as well, although he’s continued throwing and ramping up for the season. How long of a leash he gets this time is unknown for now, but Marinaccio has a chance to hold onto a spot in the bullpen for an extended period of time if he can give the Yankees solid innings in low-leverage spots.

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