Anthony Rieber has been at Newsday since Aug. 31, 1998 and in his current position since 2004. Show More
Rookie righthander Branden Pinder has appeared in 11 games for the Yankees this season, including a 11/3-inning outing in Friday night's 10-1 loss to the Twins.
Pinder has pitched well, with a 2.92 ERA, but that hasn't prevented the Yankees from sending the 26-year-old down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre four separate times this season. The last time was before Saturday night's game in Minnesota.
In Pinder's place, the Yankees called up righthander Nick Goody. If he appears in a game, he will become the 28th player to pitch for the Yankees this season (including outfielder Garrett Jones). That would tie the team record set in 2005.
Pinder's plight has not been unique for the players on the back end of the Yankees' 25-man roster. General manager Brian Cashman has made a dizzying 89 transactions since Opening Day and the team has used 46 players, five short of the franchise record of 51, also set in 2005.
Some of that is because of injuries, but Cashman also has seemed to enjoy employing a transaction-of-the-day scheme to stretch out the roster based on the needs of a particular day.
Two players have spent time on the roster but did not appear in a game. If you missed the Yankees careers of outfielder Taylor Dugas and pitcher Joel De La Cruz, you're not alone. Neither played after getting a brief call-up.
Want to dazzle your friends with trivia? These 2015 Yankees have appeared in fewer than 10 games: pitchers Danny Burawa, Kyle Davies, Jose De Paula, Jacob Lindgren, Bryan Mitchell, Diego Moreno, Jose Ramirez, Nick Rumbelow, Sergio Santos, Matt Tracy and Chase Whitley, and position players Cole Figueroa, Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams.
Not one is on the current roster. Two of the pitchers (Whitley and Santos) needed Tommy John surgery. Young outfielders Heathcott and Williams also are on the DL. The rest are back in the minors or gone from the organization.
The Yankees have had six players wear uniform No. 40 this season. Five each have worn 64 (including Goody) and 65.
The transaction train began April 11 when Cashman sent down Chasen Shreve after the lefthander pitched 31/3 innings in a game and called up Tracy for a fresh arm. That began a 10-day stretch in which Cashman replaced the last pitcher on the staff five times.
Pinder was one of them. He was called up April 15 and sent down for the first time April 21, when Shreve came back. The Shreve-Tracy-Davies-De La Cruz-Pinder-Shreve circle was complete.
"A lot of guys are getting opportunities," Pinder said the other day at Yankee Stadium. "A lot of guys have made their debuts, including me. There's nothing wrong with that."
Eleven Yankees have made their big-league debuts this season. Goody would be the 12th.
Mitchell and outfielder Ramon Flores each has been called up and sent down three times. Infielder Gregorio Petit, whom the Yankees acquired from Houston just before Opening Day, has been called up and sent down three times and also went on the DL once. On Saturday, he was designated for assignment to make room for Goody on the 40-man roster.
What does manager Joe Girardi tell a player who is being called in and sent to the minors for the second, third or fourth time in a season?
"I'm honest with guys," Girardi said. "You explain to them that this is all part of it. It's part of being a young player. Everyone in that room has probably [gone] through it. The greatest of players have been sent down and come back, so make sure that you're ready when the phone rings again because it will ring again. I can guarantee you that."
On June 21, the Yankees made six separate transactions, including the same-day call-up and demotion of Burawa. The Rocky Point product gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning in his big-league debut and now is in Double-A pitching as a starter.
Every player who is sent down hopes he will be back in Girardi's office as soon as possible for a welcome-back conversation. So what was that like for Pinder the fourth time? (And, he hopes, a fifth time later this season.)
Said Pinder: "It's just, 'Hey, how's it going? What have you been working on? Just keep pitching the way you've been pitching.'
"That's about it."