Zack Britton Heading to Injured List

Zack Britton

The New York Yankees placed relief pitcher Zack Britton on the injured list Thursday. Britton grabbed at his left hamstring as he left Wednesday’s game, and an MRI reveals a strain of the muscle.

Manager Aaron Boone felt after the game that the injury could warrant a trip to injured list, and he thinks the injury occurred in the middle of his outing.

“It seems like it maybe just tightened up and then he felt it a little bit on the last couple pitches of the inning,” said Boone.

The Yankees kept their bullpen stable while Aroldis Chapman recovered from Covid-19, thanks to Britton, who leads the AL in saves. Now, days after Chapman returns, they lose him for the foreseeable future.

Tough Loss

Britton looked to be in peak form in ten games this year. Despite taking the loss Wednesday night, Britton has a 2.00 ERA and a 1.111 WHIP in nine innings pitched.

Getting Chapman back will help the bullpen stay afloat, but it is a bullpen that has not been at full strength all season. Tommy Kahnle is already out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and the loss of Britton is another major blow.

MLB has seen an uptick in injuries so far in 2020. Boone recognizes that the nature of the abbreviated season could be a factor and understands the need to monitor his players because of it.

“It’s a quicker ramp up, and it’s into the intensity of a major league environment,” said Boone. “…It’s something that you try to be mindful of moving forward…you (have to) try to strike that balance and assess where people are all the time.”

The depth of the Yankees bullpen has always been a major strength for the team, and they have the luxury of now sliding Adam Ottavino and Chad Green up to higher leverage roles later in games.

The team also sent Miguel Andujar down to the Alternate Site and brought up relief pitchers, Ben Heller and Miguel Yajure, as additional reinforcements for the bullpen. Heller has been with the organization since 2016, but he has not been able to stay on the active roster consistently. Yajure is the 15th-best prospect in the organization, according to MLB.com.

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