As the 2014 season draws to its conclusion and the Yankees role in that season has already ended, it merely remains for us to look at the month of September. In our next two articles, we will look back on individual performances but first let’s summarise those changes which took place after the trading deadline and the roster expansion.
On the 2nd of the month, the Yankees went through their normal huge roster increase, bringing up in total 9 players from the minors. At the same time, they released Matt Daley who had seen time at both the major league level and at Scranton / Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A) this season. Also they removed Zoilo Almonte from the 40-man roster. Almonte was to accept a re-assignment offered him by the club and was outrighted to Scranton two days later.
Amongst those called up was Rich Hill who had been removed from the 40-man roster just the previous day and Chris Young who had joined the club after being released by the New York Mets and had spent a few days at the minors level preparing for the expansion when his opportunity would come.
Speedy outfielder, Antoan Richardson joined Young in a re-shaped outfield grouping which would cover for injuries to Beltran and Ellsbury for the remainder of the season.
The bullpen was expanded to include Preston Claiborne, Bryan Mitchell, and Chase Whitley who had been back and forth from Scranton all season, and Chaz Roe who had joined the Yankees from the Miami Marlins.
The Yankees also augmented their catching staff by adding John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine.
The next change didn’t come until over a week later when David Phelps was ready to return from the disabled list. Phelps had been used as a starter for most of the season until his injury but would serve the Pinstripes entirely as a reliever after his return.
The Yankees efforts at a calm and successful run-in were hampered greatly when Martin Prado, who had been one of the bright lights of the second half, was rushed to hospital for an appendectomy. Debutant Jose Pirela was called up from the minors to fill his spot.
Chaz Roe, who had seen no major league action at his previous two stops (Texas and Miami) didn’t fair much better in New York and found himself designated for assignment on the 21st. He was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh.
As Martin Prado headed for the 60-day disabled list, the Bronx faithful were cheered by the return of starting pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka from the same list to complete two starts in the last weeks of the season – albeit with decidedly mixed results.
With hitting continuing to be the bane of this line-up, the Yankees were then tempted to claim Eury Perez who was put on waivers by the Washington Nationals. At least, this meant that Perez who was highly unlikely to see roster time with the playoff-headed Nationals would see some time at the plate for the Yankees. When the waiver claim was accepted, the Yankees designated Josh Outman to Scranton to make room for Perez.
The only one of the September call-ups not to see playing time was Slade Heathcott who had made the jump from double-A Trenton Thunder presumably to get him acclimatised to the big league ballpark.