Any thought that Mike Ford’s demotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre meant hard-hitting Chris Gittens was on the way to The Bronx was dashed Wednesday when the Yankees recalled right-hander Brooks Kriske to give the team a fresh arm in the bullpen.
Ford was optioned after another miserable night at the plate, when he struck out three times and was removed for pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton.
The move leaves the Yankees with DJ LeMahieu and Miguel Andujar as the primary first basemen while Luke Voit is sidelined with a strained left oblique that figures to keep him on the IL for weeks.
First base has been one of the issues the Yankees have faced, with Voit dealing with his second injury of the season and his replacements — Jay Bruce, LeMahieu and Andujar — mostly struggling. And even when healthy, Voit didn’t produce anything like what he did a year ago, when he led the majors with 22 homers.
Gittens, 27, has proven he can hit in the minors and impressed during spring training. On Sunday, Aaron Boone said Gittens was “very much on our radar.”
Kriske was the only available reliever at SWB on the 40-man roster after the bullpen threw six scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 11-inning win over Tampa Bay, which ended with Clint Frazier’s game-winning homer.
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