The New York Yankees announced a pair of roster moves prior to Saturday's game against the San Francisco Giants: promoting reliever Colten Brewer to the majors, and designating outfielder Estevan Florial for assignment.
Florial, 25, used to be regarded as a top prospect. Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus each had him among the game's top 100 youngsters entering the 2018 season. Alas, Florial's development was stalled by injuries and the global pandemic. He's appeared in just 30 big-league contests as a result, posting a .185/.302/.278 slash line with 13 more strikeouts than walks.
Florial's days seemed numbered when the Yankees added veteran outfielder Franchy Cordero to the mix earlier this week. Cordero had been in camp with the Baltimore Orioles. In the past, he's played in the majors with the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, and San Diego Padres.
CBS Sports recently chronicled Florial's situation as part of an article about three players who were out of minor-league options:
Although Florial has missed out on invaluable repetitions over the years, you can see the outlines of a useful player. He's a good defender and fast runner, and he has above-average strength in his stick. His power-speed combination was on full display in Triple-A last season, as he batted .283/.368/.481 with 15 home runs and 46 stolen bases.
There are (and were) negatives to Florial's game, too, otherwise the Yankees would be more open-minded about handing him the left-field job. Most notably, he struck out in more than 30 percent of his trips to the plate. That rate does not bode well for his chances of hitting at the game's highest level. (Sure enough, he's so far scuffled across his various big-league cameos.)
Brewer, 30, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. He's made 81 appearances during his big-league career, amassing a 5.04 ERA (95 ERA+) and a 1.52 strikeout-to-walk ratio. When he last pitched in the majors, back in 2021, he was working with a three-pitch mix: a 93 mph cutter, a slider, and a curve. He figures to pitch in lower-leverage situations for the time being.
The Yankees and Giants are scheduled to begin play just after 4 p.m. ET. It's worth noting that there are some weather-related concerns for the game.