Yankees send down Estevan Florial despite strong cameo
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Estevan Florial’s second cameo with the Yankees was as brief as his first.
After being called up to start in center field for Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Thursday, Florial was optioned back to Triple-A after the 5-3 win.
While Florial had been summoned to replace Luke Voit (oblique strain) on the roster before the doubleheader, his departure opened a spot for Giancarlo Stanton to be activated off the injured list Friday in Detroit.
Florial, who made his MLB debut last August as the 29th man in a doubleheader, went 1-for-3 with a double — his first career extra-base hit — though he missed out on an RBI as Gary Sanchez was thrown out easily at home.
“Competitive at-bats, and then his last at-bat, you see him smoke a ball the other way,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve seen that now for a few springs, his ability to drive the ball to all fields.”
Though his call-up was brief, Florial, the former top-100 prospect, will continue to offer potential outfield depth for the Yankees, who will be without center fielder Aaron Hicks for the rest of the season. Boone started Brett Gardner in center field for a ninth straight game in the doubleheader opener.
Florial will return to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he had recently been promoted to after a hot start to the season at Double-A Somerset. The 23-year-old has had multiple injuries disrupt his development, but consistent at-bats this season could help prepare him for another Yankees shot down the road.
“Stay ready,” Florial said before the doubleheader. “It doesn’t matter when they give me the opportunity, [I want to] take advantage of it. Do the best I can, help the team, is the most important thing.”
Hicks, meanwhile, will spend the coming months going through a lengthy rehab process after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn sheath in his left wrist.
“It looks like it’s going to cost him the year,” Boone said. “I think it’s that four-to-six month — this is something that obviously, I guess with any injury, but this is definitely not something that you want to rush back from. It’s my understanding that it’ll probably spill into the offseason, his rehab. But I haven’t got a concrete timeline exactly.”
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