The Yankees’ pool of position players deepened as they activated Gio Urshela and Thairo Estrada in addition to two call-ups.
Urshela missed the minimum 10 days with a groin strain while Estrada was out since Aug. 17 with a hamstring injury and played two rehab games in the Minors. Meanwhile, the Yankees recalled Kyle Higashioka and Breyvic Valera with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s season ending yesterday.
Joel Sherman reported that reliever Ben Heller will be activated from the 60-day IL. Since that move will require a 40-man roster decision, the Yankees have yet to announce it.
Urshela leads the Yankees with a .331 batting average. However, the third baseman is unlikely to qualify for the batting title. At 414 plate appearances, he would need 86 more this season, a tall task with 19 games to go.
Higashioka hit three homers in 10 games for the Yankees this season, including two in his last appearance on Aug. 7 in Baltimore. The third-string catcher hit for a 129 wRC+ with a career-high 20 home runs in Triple-A. This will likely be his final season as Bombers’ third catcher as he’s out of options following the season.
Valera hit .315/.388/.515 with a 130 wRC+ in Scranton, serving the team at multiple infield positions. He has seven hits in 11 games with the Yankees.