After a dazzling first start on the season, Yankees fans were left a bit dismayed when shortly after, the young right hander was sent down to Triple-A. In his debut, Brito let up only 2 hits and 1 walk over 5 innings, while accumulating 6 strikeouts.
Now, with news that reliever Michael King"s dead arm will result in a short trip to the injured list, Brito finds his way heading back to New York.
In his big league debut, Brito was simply brilliant, holding the San Francisco Giants bats at-bay. Going into the season, the Yankees expected to have Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes and/or Luis Severino in their starting rotation, but each battled their own injury issues.
After trading most of their minor league pitching depth last year, the Yankees turned to the unproved Brito to take the ball for the third game of the season, especially following his final start of Spring Training. In that last Spring start, Brito was perfect against the Blue Jays, before being removed after 5.1 innings, in a start that saw his fastball up to over 96 MPH.
It remains to be seen when Brito will get a chance to pitch again with the Yankees. The team might opt to move him to the bullpen with the team not needing a fifth starter over the next couple of series. The Yankees could also decide to utilize the increasingly popular “bullpen day" with Brito either starting or serving as the first man out of the pen.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, Brito comes to New York as a result of an injury to dependable reliever Michael King. Last year, King emerged as a dominant mid to late inning option for the Yankees, before seeing his season end with a right elbow fracture.
While it looked like King would be able to start the season back in the Yankees bullpen, he is now suffering from a dead arm. Fortunately, a dead arm is a frequent injury following a more severe arm injury and King should be able to re-join the Yankees after some rest.
With Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon expected to re-join Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, the Yankees rotation in the near future, the Yankees will have the first 4 spots of the rotation locked down. However, the team will still have time to decide who should be the long term 5th starter.
For Brito, he will have a chance to battle Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German to see who will get that final spot, who will be sent to the bullpen and who might have to leave the Yankees. Through one start, Brito has pitched the best, but a lack of options for the others might result in Brito being the odd man out.
Right now, for the Yankees, Brito has a chance to pitch in the big leagues and potentially prove that he deserves to be a long term option on the Yankees roster. However, Brito"s stock clearly is rising with the team and amongst the fans in the stands.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images