The New York Yankees have one of the leagueâ€™s strongest and deepest bullpens, and injury reports from the team suggest that itâ€™s about to get even better soon. Left-hander Zack Britton, one of the anchors of the unit in recent seasons, is close to a return.
To be more specific, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported that everything is ready for Britton to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with the Double-A Somerset Patriots on Saturday. The southpaw is expected to make five appearances before making his return to the big league roster.
Britton has been out of action the whole season to this point after needing surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow back in March.
The current estimated time for arrival (ETA) for his return to the Yankeesâ€™ bullpen, where he will join lefties Lucas Luetge and Justin Wilson, is early June.
The Yankeesâ€™ reliever will take care of Double-A squad
For years, rehabbing MLB players have treated minor leaguers with their company, cool stuff, dinners, presents, tales and anecdotes. Itâ€™s part of an old tradition in professional baseball, and the Yankees are no exception.
According to Britton’s comments on Thursday, players at Somerset will be part of this tradition, as well.
“I’m going to be in Somerset for quite a bit, so they’ll probably get tired of me down there,” Britton said. “I’ll make sure I take care of those guys. I know when I was in the Minors and a Major League player came down, you always appreciated those guys, even if it was just lunch or dinner or something like that.”
The Yankees reliever told a story about how rehabbing Orioles hurler Koji Uehara did something similar back in 2010, when Britton was in the minors. The veteran Japanese bought the squad a lavish dinner.
“I thought that was pretty cool. I remember playing with him after that and I told him that I really appreciated the gesture. That went a long way with the guys that were down there, and he didn’t think anything of it. It’s a cool tradition, understanding where you’ve come from,” Britton explained.