|Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees, who have been mired in nearly a month-long slump, called up a pair of their top prospects, Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera.
On Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, Florial will be in the lineup in center field, while Cabrera will be at third base.
Florial, 24 years old, has had brief stints with the Yankees the past three seasons, and he has put together a massive year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is hitting .286 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI, with a .368 on-base percentage (OBP), a .490 slugging percentage (SLG), and an OBP (on-base plus slugging) of .858.
Cabrera has spent time at three affiliates in the Yankees' minor league system, and Wednesday will be his Major League debut. In 47 games with Triple-A SWB, he has played in 47 games, and hit .262 with eight home runs and 29 RBI, with a .340 OBP and a .492 SLG, giving him an OBP of .832.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone, in his pregame press conference on Wednesday, said of Cabrera, "He's someone we're really excited about. we've always kind of loved his makeup, love what he brings to the table as a switch-hitter, impacts the ball, and really is a good infielder wherever you put him, second, short, third. He's played a few games now in the outfield, and been working out in the outfield quite a bit in Triple-A this year, so he should be able to give us a lot of flexibility."
Boone was then asked if he expects to see Florial and Cabrera play every day, and he said, "We'll see, you know, I expect them to play, and they'll be in the mix, and we'll just see moving forward with matchups on a given day, but I would expect them to play a good amount."
When asked on how he will manage the expectations of this pair of top prospects, and avoid not having them think they have to be saviors, Boone said, "I mean, certainly have that conversation, try and create that environment we talk about all the time, where it's just, you know, kind of a business-as-usual, try to get them as acclimated and as comfortable as possible in their surroundings. I feel like their teammates, especially our veteran guys, do a really good job of making them feel comfortable in that room, and simple as that, and now let's go play ball.
"No one's expecting or counting on them being, you know, the revelation that turns us around. It's, go be a part of this team, you're here because, not so much, sure we want a spark and get things going, obviously, offensively, but they're here because they've earned their way here, and we feel like, moving forward, they give us a couple good pieces that can help us win ballgames."
To make room for Florial and Cabrera, the Yankees optioned IF/Of Miguel Andujar and OF Tim Locastro to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees also recalled reliever Rob Marinaccio, as Clay Holmes was placed on the 15-day injured list with back spasms, retroactive to Sunday. Boone expects Holmes to return at the end of those 15 days.