On Saturday night, New York’s manager addressed the decision to send Marinaccio to Triple-A, freeing up a roster spot for Frankie Montas.
ST. LOUIS — It was an unavoidable roster change, but it still felt wrong.
On Saturday night, the Yankees optioned right-hander Ron Marinaccio to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, making room on the active roster for newly acquired starter Frankie Montas (who had been on the bereavement list since he was dealt from Oakland to New York ahead of the trade deadline).
Looking at the pitching staff in New York prior to the move, Marinaccio was always the most likely candidate to take the shuttle back to Scranton.
Even if the rookie has been pitching exceptionally well this season, he still has a number of options. Marinaccio’s versatility takes precedence over his sparkling 2.03 ERA and the fact that he has only allowed one earned run to score in his previous 22.2 innings pitched (dating back to May 22).
When asked about the decision to option the reliever on Sunday morning, Yankees manager Aaron Boone compared it to Clarke Schmidt’s return to Triple-A. It’s two cases of former prospects having breakout seasons as a result of a big-league roster crunch.
“Two guys who have certainly proven that they can pitch up here and pitch well up here and have certainly been a factor in us winning games this year,” Boone said. “But also understanding that we’re not in a position right now to be getting rid of pitchers to make room.” “Unfortunately for them, they have options at this point in their careers.”
Schmidt’s situation, on the other hand, is unique. The right-hander was demoted in order to increase his pitch count, giving him a chance to pitch in the starting rotation at some point this season (and beyond). He was pitching well in the bullpen, but that was due to adversity and a lack of arms. Schmidt is being prepared to make his debut in a Yankees uniform.
Marinaccio, on the other hand, had been dominant in a versatile role in the bullpen this year, pitching in high leverage situations and demonstrating how his filthy stuff plays at this level. He’s been playing the role that this franchise hopes he’ll play in the future.
Boone framed the situation positively, stating that both pitchers can improve while pitching for the RailRiders.
“It’s an important time for them to go down and build on what’s been a really good season,” Boone said. “[We made it clear to Ron] that he has a real chance of impacting us not only for the rest of the regular season, but also potentially for the postseason. Trying to highlight the positive aspects of his work this year and really establish himself in his career.”
Marinaccio has allowed six earned runs in 26 innings pitched this season, striking out 31 batters and walking 12. He’ll be back, and chances are, so will Schmidt, before the calendar flips to October.