With a struggling and hurt Clay Holmes hitting the injured list on Wednesday, the Yankees will use a closer by committee approach.
Aaron Boone confirmed the strategy after Holmes was placed on the 15-day injured list with back spasms. The move is retroactive to Aug. 14. The Yankees also called up Ron Marinaccio, Estevan Florial, and Oswaldo Cabrera and demoted Miguel Andújar and Tim Locastro on Wednesday.
"Not real concerned," Boone said of Holmes' injury. "We're hoping that it's just the 15 days."
Holmes has not pitched since Aug. 12, and he was ineffective prior to that. The surprise All-Star has an 8.03 ERA since the start of July after allowing just two earned runs over his first 35 games. Holmes has a 2.39 ERA and 17 saves overall.
With Holmes on the shelf, Boone will determine his closer based on availability, the opposing team’s lineup and the situation.
“We'll just kind of put everyone in the best position to be at their best, so it could be a number of guys,” the manager said.
Boone specifically singled out Aroldis Chapman, the team’s longtime closer before Holmes took over, and pre-deadline acquisition Scott Effross as candidates for the ninth inning. Chapman has 315 career saves, while the rookie Effross has just two – both of which were recorded this season. The ex-Cubs’ first and only save as a Yankee came on Aug. 13.
Lou Trivino is another Yankees reliever with closing experience, as he has 32 saves since the start of last season. All of those came before a trade from the Athletics, however.
Boone added that he could see Marinaccio pitching in “any scenario.”
If Holmes stays on the I.L. longer than expected and the committee approach fails, the Yankees also expect to get Zack Britton back from Tommy John recovery before the end of the season. While relying on the southpaw in a high-leverage role after such a long absence would not be ideal, Britton does have 154 career saves.
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