Monday, March 30, 2015
After Sunday’s 7-0 victory over the Astros, the Yankees optioned outfielder Ramon Flores to Triple-A and re-assigned seven players—catchers Francisco Arcia and Kyle Higashioka, infielders Cole Figueroa and Jonathan Galvez, outfielder Slade Heathcott, left-hander Jacob Lindgren and right-hander Nick Rumbelow—to Minor League camp.
Lindgren had enjoyed a strong spring, posting a 1.23 ERA in eight appearances spanning 7 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old was a long shot to make the club, with just 25 professional innings under his belt, but Cashman said earlier on Sunday that Lindgren had made a good impression in camp.
“Obviously, we’ve kept him this long for a reason—because he’s continued to open people’s eyes,” Cashman said.
Like a lot of you, I was surprised by the move, as Lindgren has looked so good and when he was drafted, everyone pointed out at the time that it seemed like the plan was to get him to the Majors as soon as he showed that he could pitch there, and he certainly seems to have shown he can pitch in the Majors. Chad Jennings, though, had an interesting take on the situation at LoHud...
I have no idea what the Yankees are going to do about those final two spots in the bullpen. I think Chase Whitley is a favorite for one of those spots, if only because I think they’ll want another long man other than Esmil Rogers (and all the other long relief candidates have been sent away). What I can’t figure out is who the favorites might be for that last spot in the pen. I do think it’s worth noting that Chris Martin and Chasen Shreve are on the 40-man and have options, and I think that final bullpen spot might be very flexible early in the season. For that reason — because the 12th reliever might have to go up and down to Triple-A a few times — I’m not surprised the Yankees steered away from Jacob Lindgren. He’s looked great, but I imagine that once he’s on the big league roster, the Yankees want him to stay there. Why not carry Martin or Shreve out of camp, send him down for a sixth starter in late April, and then think about adding either Lindgren or Andrew Bailey?
I think he’s probably correct that both Lindgren and Bailey (presuming Bailey remains healthy) will return to the Majors, so whoever makes the roster now will likely be a placeholder.