Yankees look to fill Britton's 8th-inning role

August 31st, 2021

ANAHEIM -- was envisioned to be the Yankees’ eighth-inning lock, serving as a bridge to closer Aroldis Chapman. With the veteran left-hander done for the season, manager Aaron Boone said that he believes there are plenty of options to get the job done.

“Something that’s happened this season is, we’ve found out about some other people that have worked themselves into the conversation and worked themselves into more meaningful roles,” Boone said.

Rather than having a set option for specific innings, Boone sees himself navigating games through September by focusing on the batter-pitcher showdowns, especially if he’s able to shift Chad Green and Jonathan Loáisiga into multi-inning settings.

“If it’s the fifth inning one night or the eighth inning another night, you play the matchup game a little bit,” Boone said. “[Left-hander] Wandy Peralta has earned opportunities. [Right-hander] Clay Holmes has really earned opportunities. We’re able to have a little bit of flexibility there. Most of those guys are capable of getting more than three outs on certain nights.”

Britton, who is on the 60-day injured list, was evaluated on Monday in Los Angeles by Dodgers team physician Neal ElAttrache. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that Britton is likely to need bone chips removed from his pitching elbow, which would be Britton’s second elbow surgery in less than a year. He had a bone spur removed this spring.

“I’m sure at some point tonight we’ll have a better idea of what the next course of action for Zack is,” Boone said.

No Sho

Shohei Ohtani, the frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Yankees. Ohtani was hit on the right hand by a pitch in the Angels’ 10-2 win over the Padres on Saturday.

“Hopefully for Shohei’s sake and for the Angels, that isn't something that he's out too long,” Boone said. “Hopefully he can get back to the mound at some point this season. I try not to react to it because this game will come around on you.”

Ohtani, who entered Monday leading the Majors with 41 home runs, is still expected to bat in the series against the Yankees.

“It's really hard to get up here and stick; it's super hard at this level just to even be average,” said right-hander Jameson Taillon, who will start on Tuesday. “And he's well above-average at two different things, so it's incredible.

“As a player, it's fascinating to me. I know, for me, just being a starting pitcher in the big leagues, it's a lot of work and you're doing a lot of different things. A day game after throwing the night before, I'm in the weight room, I'm getting massage, I'm doing treatment. He's out there leading off. That's fascinating.”

He said it

“When you have the last name of Boone, you never get booed.” -- Boone

This date in Yankees history

Aug. 30, 1945: Bill Bevens throws a complete-game one-hitter and Frankie Crosetti drives in four runs during the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Bevens loses his no-hit bid on a Bob Johnson double with two outs in the seventh inning.