The Yankees announced they have designated right-handed reliever Ryan Dull for assignment. That, coupled with the transfer of Jonathan Holder to the 60-day injured list, clears roster space for the previously-reported activations of Dellin Betances and Jordan Mongtomery from the IL.
Betances is the most notable name in today’s series of transactions. The fireballer has missed the entire season to date with a shoulder injury. Notably, he tells Erik Boland of Newsday (via Twitter) that he’s still not up to full strength, although he expressed optimism he’ll be 100% by the end of the regular season. Betances’ progress will be one of the stretch run’s biggest health situations to monitor, as the hulking righty will be elligible for free agency at season’s end, which both player and team surely hope won’t come until after a lengthy postseason run for the soon-to-be AL East champs.
It has been an even longer absence for Montgomery, who hasn’t toed an MLB mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. As a rookie in 2017, Montgomery started 29 games and pitched to a better-than-average 3.88 ERA with solid peripherals. It’ll be interesting to see how the Bombers build him up down the stretch and what role, if any, he’ll play in the postseason.
Those returns to health come at the expense of Dull, a 29 year-old righty. He was blasted in three games as a Yankee, continuing a disappointing season. Dull has never followed up on a 2016 season in which he pitched to a 2.42 ERA in 74.1 innings in Oakland. He does come with one more option year and throws the same 91 MPH fastball he had in his breakthrough effort in the Bay Area, so Dull should still hold some appeal as a depth piece this offseason.
Holder was initially shelved in August with right shoulder inflammation. A longshot to make the Yankees’ postseason roster even when healthy, this almost certainly concludes a trying season for the 26 year-old, who pitched to a 6.31 ERA despite serviceable strikeout (25.4%) and walk (6.1%) rates.