New York Yankees left-hander Zach Britton pulled out of Friday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, his former team, with left hand fatigue, the Yankees announced. On Saturday, he was placed on the injured list for 60 days, ending the season.
“He’s actually doing pretty well,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday.link to video). “We’re going to IL him. (Jacob) Barnes is here to take his place. I think basically it’s just a bit of a lack of time here, a bit of tiredness. Last night, it was one of those things that you don’t want to go through, reach for more and do some damage there. He is in good condition ahead of the off-season.”
Britton returned for the third time since Tommy John surgery. He went past the only batter he faced, threw three out of nine throws for strikes, and his final throw went all the way. He immediately signaled to the trainer and left the game.
Britton underwent Tommy John surgery last September and returned 12 months later, which is pretty aggressive rehab. These days, Tommy John surgery is usually followed by 14-16 months of rehabilitation. Britton pushed for a quick comeback because he wanted to contribute at the end of the season and possibly the playoffs, but that’s not possible right now.
It’s not uncommon for pitchers to run into control issues in the days following Tommy John’s surgery, and Britton has gone through six of the nine batters he’s faced since being off the injured list. Aroldis Chapman has struggled for most of the season, and Vandy Peralta is on the injured list with a back problem, leaving the Yankees without a reliable high-shouldered left pitcher.
In addition, on Friday, Boone announced that Clay Holmes had a shoulder problem closest to the All-Star Game and was unlikely to play for the remainder of the regular season. He was given a cortisone shot, but he won’t be on the injured list because that would make him ineligible for ALDS. The Yankees have already won the AL East title and goodbye to the Wild Card series. ALDS starts October 11th.
Peralta is expected to return for the regular season’s final series, joining right-handers Scott Effross, Jonathan Loaisiga and Lou Trivino in a combination of high leverage with Holmes sidelined. Rookie right-handers Ron Marinaccio and Clark Schmidt introduced themselves well and have been auditioning for bullpen roles in recent weeks.
Friday’s loss (BAL 2, NYY 1) secured the AL’s first seed for the Houston Astros and cemented the Yankees as the #2 seed. New York is 96-60 with six games to go.