Yankees promote ‘elite’ catcher, who also has first base experience

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
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The New York Yankees faced a lineup shift on Monday when outfielder Alex Verdugo was placed on the paternity list to be present for the birth of his child. In response, the team called up catcher prospect Carlos Narvaez from the minors.

New Addition to the Yankees

Carlos Narvaez, 25, has been with the team’s minor league system for nearly a decade and made it to Triple-A in 2023. There, he demonstrated solid potential by posting a .240 batting average, a .373 on-base percentage, and a .387 slugging percentage, including 10 home runs across 84 games.

During the 2024 season with Scranton, Narvaez hit .211 with a .376 OBP, adding two homers and 12 RBIs in 23 games. Despite these modest numbers, manager Aaron Boone described him as an “elite” defensive catcher, noting his promising offensive performances in spring training, where he hit .231 with a .412 OBP in 10 games.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) talks with catcher Carlos Narvaez (94) during the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Strategic Adjustments in the Yankees’ Roster

With both Jose Trevino and Austin Wells currently active on the roster, the Yankees are exploring various configurations. One potential shift could involve moving Wells to first base occasionally to provide veteran Anthony Rizzo with some rest.

Rizzo, who has played every game this season, has a history of injuries. The Yankees are keen to manage his workload to prevent fatigue and further complications. This strategy would likely position Narvaez as the backup catcher temporarily. Notably, Narvaez also has experience at first base, which could offer the Yankees additional flexibility in their lineup decisions.

Narvaez remains a player with three minor-league options available, allowing the Yankees considerable flexibility in managing their roster. Despite being a career minor leaguer with limited success in transitioning to the majors, this call-up represents a significant opportunity for him to prove his capabilities in Major League Baseball. However, it is anticipated that Narvaez will be sent back down once Verdugo returns, which is expected to happen shortly.

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