The 81-77 New York Yankees are out of playoff contention with four more games left in the regular season, but good news has surfaced, as relief pitcher Keynan Middleton could return from an inflamed shoulder before the Yankees close out on Oct. 1 against the Kansas City Royals.
Keynan Middleton tossed a bullpen recently
Bryan Hoch reported via Twitter that Middleton had a successful bullpen session en route to his return:
Middleton’s last appearance on the mound came on Aug. 31 against the Detroit Tigers, where he pitched 1.1 innings with a 3.08 ERA. He was placed on the 15-day injured list on Sept. 7 and has not seen action for the Bronx Bombers since.
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Middleton will be working back into the bullpen
Since joining the Yankees and debuting on Aug. 4, the 30-year-old pitcher has a 0.825 WHIP with one earned run allowed in 11 games.
Middleton’s production will be worked back into a pinstripes bullpen that has only blown an MLB-best 27 leads and two ninth-inning leads in 2023.
In his stead, receiver Matt Krook has mustered up a 24.75 ERA in four appearances. Middleton taking over for the Triple-A call-up can help the Bombers establish positives heading into the offseason as the franchise will look to capitalize on every angle to return to championship contention.
Should the Yankees bring back Middleton?
New York has been to three AL championship series’ since 2017, but has had struggles against the Houston Astros dynasty that kept them from the World Series on all three occasions.
Middleton will be a free agent heading into the 2024 season as his $800,000 minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox is set to expire. The Yankees have the option of bringing back the talented reliever without stretching their books.