How Yankees could replace Tim Locastro after devastating injury

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NJ.com 18 July, 2021 - 06:32am 19 views

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NEW YORK — Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu was shaken. He wasn’t far away when left fielder Tim Locastro made a spectacular catch and suffered an injury that ended his season Sunday night.

Locastro’s leaping catch in foul territory in the first inning was highlight-reel stuff. But when he slammed his right knee into the wall, it tore his ACL. He stayed in the game the rest of the inning, but the next inning was pulled from 3-1, rain-shortened win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium

“I feel for him,” LeMahieu said. “It was a heck of a catch. Got up and still threw it, saved a run. Stayed in the game. He’s a beast. Obviously, disappointed. I hear he’s hurting, but it seems like he’s in good spirit. But, yeah, great catch.”

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Locastro is a lifelong Yankees fan acquired July 1 after Clint Frazier went on the injured list. Locastro, an Ithaca College product, grew up in upstate New York and played in nine games with the Yankees before his season ended. Manager Aaron Boone said the Yankees hadn’t decided how they will replace Locastro on Sunday.

“We’ll talk about that and about which way we want to go here in the short-term. We’ll have that conversation right now,” Boone said.

The Yankees have three leading options to replace Locastro.

The most obvious move would be to call up center field prospect Estevan Florial, because he’s already on the 40-man roster. Then again, it would be an easy decision to put Locastro on the 60-day injured list and open a roster spot that could go to Ryan LaMarre.

LaMarre and Florial are at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LaMarre, 30, has played three games this season with the Yankees. He’s hit .310 in 31 games at Triple-A.

Florial, 22, has played one big-league game this season and has hit just .213 in 42 games at Triple-A. The Yankees might prefer to keep him at Triple-A with the trade deadline nearing, careful to put him against more advanced major-league pitching.

Finally, they could call up any number of relievers in case they’re needed in garbage time.

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