The Yankees announced a series of roster moves today, with outfielder Andrew Benintendic on his way to the 10-day injured right wrist infection list. Outfielder Estevan Florial was recalled in a corresponding motion. In addition, right-handed Ryan Weber has been selected for the Hoofdklasse club, with lefty Anthony Banda designated for assignment.
Benintendi, 28, left last night’s game after he appeared to be injured on a swing. Last night’s X-rays were negative, but it seems the ailment is enough that the Yanks will keep him out of action for at least another ten days as they try to figure out what’s going on. “Just not sure, like, where we thought, maybe not hurt,” Boone says in the video shared by Marly Rivera of ESPN. “So they need to get more CT scans. I’ve just been briefed on it a little bit, so I really don’t have much for you other than him going to the IL, but it’s a little unclear at this point what exactly.
Given that uncertainty, it’s hard to know exactly how serious this will be for the Yankees. However, even a minimal absence can have an impact at this late stage of the season as there are just over four weeks left on the regular season schedule. Acquired from the Royals before the trade deadline, Benintendi has a solid season on record, one of his best shows in years. His .302/.371/.397 fights are 21% better than the league average batter this year, as evidenced by his 121 wRC+. That’s just shy of his career in that department as he registered a 123 wRC+ in 2018.
The Yanks will have to do without his production for the next week and a half, with the results of continued testing yet to determine next steps. Until then they will have to make do with an outfield mix consisting of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, Marwin Gonzalez, Tim Locastro and Florial. Giancarlo Stanton could theoretically be a factor as well, although he has been used exclusively in the designated batter role since his return from his own IL stint. Despite walking away with the AL East for much of the season, the club has had a rough time of late, with their lead over the Rays narrowing to just five games. They would love it if someone in that group steps up to make up for Benintendi’s absence so they can stay at the wheel for the long haul.
Banda, 29, earlier this year pitched for the Pirates and Blue Jays, in addition to a brief stint in the minors for the Mariners. He signed with the Yankees on Sunday, making two appearances in pinstripes. The first went well enough, as Banda came out with one out and no one in the fifth in the club’s game against Oakland on Sunday. He got a walk sandwiched between two outs to finish the inning. His second outing came last night and didn’t go nearly as well. Trailing 5-0 by the Yanks to the Rays in the eighth, Banda came in with two men leading and faced six batters, including three walks, another hitting and two hits. That remains with a 40.50 ERA to two-thirds of an inning as a Yankee, although a 6.75 ERA in the overall season. Despite that unfortunate ERA, he has a career-high strikeout rate of 22.2% on the year. The Yankees will put him on outright waivers or releases in the coming days, though Banda would have the right to turn down an outright assignment in favor of free agency, as he was outright earlier in his career.
As for Weber, 32, he bounces on and off the New York roster all year round, generally doing well in short spells with the big league club. He was first selected in June, but was designated for assignment the following day. He cleared waivers, opted for a free agency, and re-signed with the club on a new minor league deal. That same cycle happened twice more, making today the fourth time he’s been selected on the roster, and he never stayed in the majors for more than about a week. He has a 1.17 ERA in 7 2/3 innings over those sporadic displays, in addition to a 3.86 ERA in Triple-A for the year. His control was excellent at both levels as he has a 3.8% running speed in the big games and a 3.0% pace in the minors, much lower than the 9.1% average for an MLB reliever this year. year.
Lindsey Adler of The Athletic tweeted message from Boone about Benintendi’s IL placement before the moves were officially announced. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com passed the Banda-Weber swap before the official announcement.