Zack Britton is indeed heading to the IL, as the team announced his suffered a hamstring strain during Wednesday’s loss to the Rays.
Manager Aaron Boone said Britton underwent an MRI and things didn’t look so good. He was grimacing in pain after walking off the mound in the top of the eighth inning. Britton gave the lead to the Rays in that frame as well.
That outing was Britton’s only dud so far this season, as he was lights out otherwise. He still owns a 2.00 ERA over nine innings of work with nine strikeouts over 10 games. And he also has eight saves, taking over that closer role with Aroldis Chapman out to start the season.
Luckily for the Yankees, Chapman returned to the team at the right time. They obviously don’t want to set their normal set-up man out, but having Chapman assume his closer role once again won’t leave that position in limbo for, say, Adam Ottavino to have to take over.
Chapman allowed one run on two hits while striking out two in his first inning of play on Monday night against the Red Sox.
But if Britton does in fact need time on the IL, that would be yet another Yankee on the list. Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge are all there as we speak, though Judge has a very good chance of returning to the lineup on Saturday when his 10 days are through.
The Yankees also moved Miguel Andujar back down to the Alternate Training Site, as his struggles continue. He had only one hit in seven at-bats, which makes him just 2-for-22 on the season. He’s had a hard time finding playing time with other depth pieces like Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman enjoying success at the moment.
With Britton and Andujar down, RHP Ben Heller and RHP Miguel Yajure were both recalled to fill their roster spots.