Yankees News: Zack Britton Placed on 10-Day IL with Hamstring Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

New York Yankees relief pitcher Zack Britton throws a pitch during the eighth inning of an opening day baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in New York. The Yankees won 7-2. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

A key bullpen piece has landed on the shelf for the New York Yankees, as the team announced Thursday that setup man Zack Britton has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.

The announcement came after Britton entered Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning with the score tied 2-2. Britton surrendered two hits, one walk and two runs (one earned) in 0.2 innings and took the loss, as New York fell 4-2.

Britton has been New York's closer for most of this season with Aroldis Chapman out, and he owns an 0-2 record with a 2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and eight saves in eight chances.

It's been up-and-down for Britton on the injury front in recent years. A forearm strain limited him to 38 appearances in the 2017 season. Then, in December 2017, he ruptured his Achilles during a workout and didn't return to action until June.

When healthy, Britton, 32, has established himself as one of baseball's most dominant relievers. He was superb in 2017 when on the mound for the Baltimore Orioles, finishing with a 2.89 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 15 saves in 17 opportunities and 29 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. In 41 appearances in 2018 he went 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, seven saves and 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings. Britton also went 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 1.41 WHIP as Chapman's setup man last season.

From 2014 to 2016, Britton tallied 120 saves in 128 opportunities with Baltimore.

With Britton out, however, the Yankees are still in capable hands. Chapman will remain the closer after making his season debut this week following a COVID-19 diagnosis last month. 

A bullpen made up of Chapman, Adam Ottavino and Chad Green is good enough to excel while Britton is out, but with outfielder Aaron Judge (calf), second baseman DJ LeMahieu (thumb) and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) already on the IL for New York, the injuries are piling up.