The Yankees’ lineup is about to get a boost, as George A. King of the New York Post reports that Jacoby Ellsbury is set to be activated from the disabled list for Wednesday’s game against the Athletics.
Ellsbury has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee. The 31-year-old has gone 2-for-13 (.154) with a run scored over four minor league rehab games with High-A Tampa. He was scheduled to play in another rehab game today, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he was scratched due to poor field conditions.
“We scratched him because the fields were wet,’’ the GM said of the playing surface Monday in Tampa, where Ellsbury was on a rehab assignment with the Single-A club. “He did some simulated stuff [Monday] and will do it again Tuesday and be activated Wednesday.’’
Ellsbury was batting .324/.412/.372 with one home run, six RBI, and 14 stolen bases over 37 games prior to the injury. Brett Gardner caught fire out of the leadoff spot in June, but he’s expected to slide down to the No. 2 spot upon Ellsbury’s return.
Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney has been designated for assignment, the Athletics announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the club selected the contract of lefty reliever Wei-Chung Wang from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Rodney, 42, struggled to find his footing at the start of his second season with the A’s. He appeared in 17 games this spring, but harbored an unsightly 9.42 ERA during the span of just 14 1/3 innings, flanked by an equally disheartening 7.5 BB/9 against his 8.8 SO/9. While the right-hander isn’t far removed from his last productive campaign in the majors — as evidenced by the cumulative 3.36 ERA and 25 saves he delivered for the Twins and A’s in 2018 — the club evidently felt ready to take things in a different direction this season.
It’s still unclear whether this will mark the end of Rodney’s time in Major League Baseball; if so, he’ll finish a 17-year track in the majors with three All-Star designations, 908 career strikeouts, and 325 career saves (best among all active pitchers and 18th-best overall).
Without Rodney, the Athletics will look to former Brewers reliever Wang to bolster a bullpen that currently ranks fifth-best in the American League. The 27-year-old lefty hasn’t stepped on a major-league mound since 2017, but recently impressed in Triple-A after inking a minors contract with the team in February. He holds a 3.75 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and 8.3 SO/9 through his first 24 innings with the organization.