The struggling Yankees bullpen received a much-needed boost prior to Tuesday’s game against the Rays, welcoming left-hander Zack Britton back from a stint on the injured list.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Britton will immediately return to his eighth-inning role, setting up for closer Aroldis Chapman. Britton sustained a left hamstring strain during an Aug. 19 appearance against the Rays.
“He’s one of the best relievers in the game,” Boone said of Britton. “He’s had a really good week as far as bouncing back from the hammy. He’s been able to move around quite a bit and checked all the boxes, so I’m really excited to get him back in our mix at the back end. It’s nice to see him on the lineup card.”
The 32-year-old Britton went 8-for-8 in save opportunities while filling in for Chapman, who opened the season on the COVID-19 injured list. Over 10 appearances, Britton pitched to a 2.00 ERA, averaging one strikeout per inning.
“He’s been able to keep his arm going basically the whole time; it hasn’t been very long,” Boone said. “Talking to him after his two bullpens, both times he said, ‘My arm feels really good. I feel like I’m throwing the ball exactly where I need to.”