Talk about awful timing.
Yankees rookie reliever Ron Marinaccio had been dominant out of the bullpen since he was recalled from Triple-A in late May, racking up 15.1 scoreless innings in a row. The right-hander has allowed just one hit out of the 60 batters he faced in that span.
Rather than building on that stretch through the All-Star break, Marinaccio is now on the mend, relegated to the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
The right-hander threw his latest scoreless frame in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Guardians, retiring the side after Aroldis Chapman walked the bases loaded.
Coming off the field in Cleveland, however, Marinaccio met with a member of New York's training staff. After the game, manager Aaron Boone revealed that Marinaccio was battling "dead arm."
This is more significant than just a tired pitching arm, though. Marinaccio spoke to reporters in New York's clubhouse after Game 2 of the twin bill, disclosing that he's been managing shoulder discomfort for over a week, something he's been trying to play through during this challenging stretch on his team's schedule.
"I wanted to push through it," Marinaccio said. "With my situation as well, trying to battle and stick on the roster. I'm super bummed about it, but I don't want to put myself at risk for a worse injury. I'm going to just rehab hard and hopefully get back as soon as I can."
Marinaccio was officially placed on the 15-day injured list on Sunday morning. Left-hander JP Sears was called up from Triple-A to replace him on the active roster.
Marinaccio, who turned 27 on Friday, added that he experienced a similar injury in 2018 shortly after he was drafted. For that reason, the Toms River native didn't seem too concerned, explaining that with the right treatment, he'll be able to return from the injured list throwing harder than he has been.
"I'm pitching well, but honestly I don't feel as sharp as I can," he said. "My velocity has been down a little bit. ... Really hoping I can deal with this right now, knock it out and for the rest of the season, the latter half, just be in a better spot."
Factoring in his 15.1 innings without a run, Marinaccio's ERA has dropped down to 2.33 on the season. He's struck out 23 in 19.1 total frames, posting a 0.879 WHIP in the process (seven hits and 10 walks).
The right-hander is the latest reliever to be sidelined with an injury for New York, a part of the roster that hasn't avoided adversity. Chad Green is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Jonathan Loáisiga is on the injured list with a shoulder injury of his own, Domingo Germán has yet to make his season debut (also a shoulder) and Chapman made his first appearance in over a month on Saturday.
That in mind, as much as Marinaccio didn't begin this season as an integral component to New York's bullpen, this has the potential to be a big loss. It'll certainly put more pressure on Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Miguel Castro (when he returns from the paternity list) and, of course, closer Clay Holmes, to keep holding it down in high-leverage spots.
Even if this is a discouraging development, Marinaccio approached the IL stint in a mature way. He might miss some time, but it's a long season and he has a long career ahead. There's no sense in risking a significant injury.
"At this point in my career and where we are right now in a little bit of a stretch—we have the off day coming up but we've got a lot of big games coming up—it would be a spot where I'd have to push through it and throw multiple times. I think we're just going to play it safe."
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