NEW YORK -- Estevan Florial had been monitoring the developing injury situation in the Yankees' outfield, so it came as little surprise when the big league club tapped his services for Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
"As a member of the team, you don't want your teammates to get hurt, but I'm always ready to help the team," Florial said.
Florial started in center field and batted eighth in the second game of the twin bill, going 1-for-3 with a double in the Yankees' 5-3 win. However, he was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following the doubleheader.
The 23-year-old Florial is rated as the Yankees' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline. Though injuries and the pandemic-shortened season cost him development time over the past three years, Florial is lauded as an exciting talent with double-plus speed and arm strength.
"I think you know how much we like his ceiling and what his potential is," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "The biggest thing for him is gaining experience and allowing him time to learn from successes and failures, making the adjustments to be a Major League hitter."
Florial opened this season with Double-A Somerset and earned a promotion to Triple-A after just nine games. In 17 combined games at those levels, Florial showed pop, compiling a .203/.295/.536 slash line with six homers and nine RBIs.
"There's a lot of competition down there," Florial said. "[The numbers] weren't great, but I used to face pitchers like that in Spring Training. Sometimes you'd have to face Gerrit Cole, big league arms. I'm kind of used to it, so I prepare myself. It doesn't matter if it's Double-A or Triple-A."
Florial got a taste of the big leagues last season, going 1-for-3 in an Aug. 28 game against the Mets at Yankee Stadium.
"It was nice to get him a taste last year and get his first big league hit out of the way," Boone said. "From a health standpoint, a performance standpoint and because of necessity, he's put himself in a position to be here."
Paying it forward
One of baseball's time-honored traditions is that rehabbing big league players provide a clubhouse spread or other goodies for the Minor League rosters they've joined. Judging by Zack Britton's comments on Thursday, the players at Double-A Somerset should be eating well.
Britton is set to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with the Patriots on Saturday. The lefty is expected to make about five appearances before returning to the Majors.
"I'm going to be in Somerset for quite a bit, so they'll probably get tired of me down there," Britton said. "I'll make sure I take care of those guys. I know when I was in the Minors and a Major League player came down, you always appreciated those guys, even if it was just lunch or dinner or something like that."
Britton recalled that when he was playing in the Orioles' system in 2010, veteran right-hander Koji Uehara came through on a rehab assignment and bought the team a lavish dinner.
"I thought that was pretty cool," Britton said. "I remember playing with him after that and I told him that I really appreciated the gesture. That went a long way with the guys that were down there, and he didn't think anything of it. It's a cool tradition, understanding where you've come from."
Right-hander Nick Nelson will be added to the Yankees' roster as the 27th man for the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.
This date in Yankees history
May 27, 2015: Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer in the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Royals, notching his 1,994th career RBI, surpassing Lou Gehrig's all-time American League record.