As the Yankees get set for a battle with the Tampa Bay Rays news broke that outfielder and first basemen Jay Bruce will be retiring after today’s game. While he isn’t in the starting lineup this afternoon manager Aaron Boone said he is available off of the bench.
Bruce was a first-round pick of the Reds in 2005. In 14 seasons He has a slash line of .244/.314/.467. He has also tallied 319 home runs.
Bruce was brought in over the winter on a minor league deal to hopefully bring some balance to the Yankees’ right-handed heavy lineup. However, Bruce’s lack of production placed him in more of a reduced role. In 10 games with the Yankees Bruce slashed .118/.231./.235. He was a first baseman in all 10 games he appeared in however he is a natural outfielder. While his defense improved a bit in each game he was still a defensive liability. Since the acquisition of second basemen, Rougned Odor Bruce has only appeared in one game with DJ LeMahieu getting a majority of the reps at first base.
How the Yankees Will look to Replace Bruce
Following today’s game, the Yankees roster will shrink. There are a few avenues they can explore in terms of filling the hole left by Bruce. They can call up Tyler Wade considering they do not have a player to back up the shortstop position. Mike Ford is also an option to effectively flat out replace Bruce in almost the same exact role. However, the more likely scenario involves them calling up another pitcher. While the name of that pitcher is currently unknown it would make sense considering the number of innings the bullpen has tossed in the last few games.
While Bruce’s time with the Yankees was short he embodied what it meant to be a Yankee on and off the field. His presence will be missed in the clubhouse.