Yankees Lose Alex Verdugo, Recall Catcher for MLB Debut Ahead of Orioles Series

The New York Yankees have announced that outfielder Alex Verdugo was placed on the paternity list and have used the open roster spot to recall catcher Carlos Narváez, who will now have the chance to make his MLB debut.

Verdugo, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox over the offseason, has enjoyed a strong debut with the Yankees, slashing .267/.358/.446 to go with four homers and 13 RBI in 101 at bats so far this season. Following a recent move to the cleanup spot, he sparked the team’s largest offensive rally up to this point.

“It just took one pitch for Verdugo to make an immediate impact, cracking a three-run homer in the first inning that sparked his team to its biggest offensive outburst of the season,” MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reported. “Pleased by his initial returns on shaking up the batting order, (manager Aaron) Boone said Verdugo could bat fourth again.”

But the team will now be without Verdugo as they face the Baltimore Orioles, an ascendent AL East rival, in the teams’ first series of the year. MLB rules dictate that players placed on the paternity list have to miss between one and three games.

New York Yankees Catcher Carlos Narváez Could Make His MLB Debut Against the Baltimore Orioles

The Yankees are utilizing the open spot to recall catcher Carlos Narváez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If he gets into a game, it will be the 25 year old’s MLB debut.

The Yankees have not gotten strong offensive production out of the catcher spot, with Austin Wells slashing just .159/.328/.182 in 44 at bats so far. Veteran Jose Trevino has been better, with a .280/.339/.400 slash line and two homers in 50 at bats so far, but it seems fair to say there is a more permanent catcher spot available on the roster if Narváez is productive.

However, Narváez doesn’t project as much of an offensive upgrade.

“While Narvaez has tended to perform a bit above the league average at each of his minor league stops, his vulnerability to high fastballs is rather extreme and big league pitchers will be able to get him out at will if they can execute heaters at the belt and above,” Eric Longenhagen reported for FanGraphs. “Narvaez’s carrying tool is his incredibly quick release and accurate arm… He’s a competent defender who can punish a mistake breaking ball on offense, a skill set typical of a third catcher.”

Narváez has a .211/.376/.342 slash line with two homers and 12 RBI in 76 at bats in Triple-A so far this season.

The New York Yankees Face a Critical Test Against the Baltimore Orioles

The Yankees will need all the help they can get in their series with the Orioles as the two teams vie for first place in the division.

“Baltimore sits just one game back of New York entering play, but the Yankees have been the hotter team of late,” MLB Trade Rumors reported. “Will the Orioles pitching staff, which could be without closer Craig Kimbrel for the time being, be able to cool off the Bronx Bombers?”

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