Amburgey gets call among roster moves

Yanks hold off on using Stanton in OF; Thursday's game to be made up in Aug. 17 DH

July 17th, 2021

NEW YORK -- The usual exchanges of scouting information took place behind closed doors on Friday as the Yankees prepared to open the second half of their season. They came with an unexpected twist: there were also introductions and greetings among a group of fresh faces.

The Yankees roster was altered drastically by a COVID-19 outbreak that brought six new players to the Bronx for Friday’s contest against the Red Sox, including outfielder Trey Amburgey, who made his Major League debut, going 0-for-2 while reaching on a fifth-inning error in the 4-0 loss.

“I think we just try to control what we can control,” said ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, who will start Saturday. “We're here right now getting ready for the game, shaking hands with the newcomers, getting them indoctrinated into the clubhouse and situated as best they can so they can perform tonight.”

New York’s bench features catcher Rob Brantly, infielder/outfielder Hoy Jun Park and outfielder Greg Allen. Other roster moves included recalling first baseman Chris Gittens to replace Luke Voit, who landed on the injured list with left knee inflammation.

The moves come as the Yankees embark upon a crucial stretch of their schedule, with 10 of their next 12 games against the Red Sox and Rays -- including seven against division-leading Boston. Yankees manager Aaron Boone called it “a great opportunity” for the players who will see playing time.

“I think we very much understand the opportunity at hand,” Boone said. “Obviously, we know we're dealing with some adversity and a tough situation. But we'll try to embrace that as best we can. That’s our reality right now -- we’ve got to go make the best of it.”

Stanton island
Though Aaron Judge landed on the COVID-19 injured list on Friday, Boone said no consideration was given to having Giancarlo Stanton play the outfield.

The Yankees are continuing to eye the July 30-Aug. 1 Interleague series against the Marlins as an opportunity to have Stanton make his first appearance of the season in the outfield. Stanton has not played a defensive inning since Sept. 28, 2019, as the club aims to protect him against injuries.

“Part of getting ‘G’ out there is the ability to give Judge a day off or a DH day,” Boone said. “That’s kind of what we’re working toward, but now with our roster situation, it definitely wasn’t a consideration today. It’s still, in my mind, very much in play moving forward.”

In the ninth
Given the state of the Yankees’ bullpen, which is missing Jonathan Loaisiga and Wandy Peralta due to COVID-19 protocols, Boone said that Aroldis Chapman could return to his ninth-inning role in a save opportunity. The All-Star struggled over his last four appearances, prompting Boone to bypass him during the series against the Astros.

“I’m not going to hesitate to put him in in the biggest spot in the ninth inning,” Boone said. “I think it's important. This is something I've tried to reiterate to Chappy as well; for as great as his career has been, he's not far removed from probably the best version of Aroldis Chapman that I've seen the first couple months of the season.”

Makeup date
Thursday’s postponed Yankees game has been rescheduled as the first game (1:05 p.m. ET) of a split-admission doubleheader to be played on Aug. 17 at Yankee Stadium.

Fans holding paid tickets for Thursday’s postponed game may use them for the rescheduled game or exchange them for tickets to a regular-season game (subject to availability) as described in the Yankees’ rain check policy, which may be found at

Draft roundup
The Yankees agreed to terms with right-hander Brendan Beck for $1.05 million, according to Baseball America. Beck was the club’s second-round Draft selection out of Stanford University.

New York has also agreed with second baseman Cooper Bowman, their fourth-round pick from the University of Louisville, and first baseman Tyler Hardman, a fifth-rounder from the University of Oklahoma.

Other players who have agreed to terms, announced via the players’ social media, include right-hander Chandler Champlain (ninth round, USC), shortstop Benjamin Cowles (10th round, University of Maryland) and catcher Ben Rice (12th round, Dartmouth).

The Yankees have not confirmed the deals.

This date in Yankees history
July 16, 2006: Seven years after hearing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played for the first time upon his entrance, Mariano Rivera recorded his 400th career save in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over the White Sox. The eventual all-time saves leader was the fourth big leaguer to reach the milestone, joining Trevor Hoffman, John Franco and Lee Smith.