The Yankees announced Tuesday that they’ve reinstated Carlos Rodon from the 15-day injured list, recalled infielder Oswald Peraza and outfield prospect Everson Pereira from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, placed outfielder Billy McKinney on the 10-day injured list due to back spasms, and designated outfielder Greg Allen for assignment. The recalls of Peraza and Pereira were reported on yesterday.
Allen, 30, will lose his spot on the active and 40-man rosters to clear the way for Pereira to enter the outfield mix in the Bronx. Allen is out of minor league options, so he can’t be sent down without first clearing waivers. He appeared in 22 games for the Yankees since returning to the organization but received just 28 plate appearances in that time (during which he went 5-for-23 with a pair of walks and 10 strikeouts). Allen has been used primarily as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement late in games.
That’s a role with which Allen has become increasingly familiar over the years. The fleet-footed switch-hitter hasn’t topped 134 plate appearances in a big league season since 2019 and has never tallied 300 trips to the plate in a given season. Allen is a career .231/.300/.340 hitter with 11 home runs and a 48-for-57 showing in stolen bases (84%) at the MLB level. He’s played all three outfield spots extensively and draws above-average marks at each, per Statcast. Defensive Runs Saved pegs him as a plus left fielder but a lesser option in center field.
Allen’s brand of speed and defense could prompt a clear postseason contender to consider him on waivers in the next few days. Rosters will expand from 26 to 28 players on Sept. 1, and as long as Allen is with a new organization at 11:59pm ET or earlier on Aug. 31, he’d be eligible for postseason play with that new club. It’s relatively common for teams to carry pinch-running and defensive specialists in such settings, so Allen isn’t a lock to make it through waivers. If he does go unclaimed, he’ll be able to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency and sign with any team.
Rodon will look to get into a good groove and carry some momentum into 2024. He signed a six-year, $162MM deal in the offseason but hasn’t yet been able to provide the Yanks with any return on that investment yet. He dealt with forearm and back issues early in the year and wasn’t able to make his team debut until July. He struggled through six starts, posting a 7.33 ERA, before landing back on the IL due to a hamstring strain.
The Yankee season has largely been sunk by injuries, including those of Rodon but also many others. They are now 60-64 and 9.5 games back of a playoff spot with just over a month left on the schedule. Their playoff odds are down to 0.4% at FanGraphs. But both the club and Rodon would surely be encouraged if he could post some good starts before the offseason gets going, carrying some good feelings into the winter.