New York Yankees struggling with form promote rookie Ben Rice to cleanup spot in lineup

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Ben Rice celebrates after hitting a home run

The struggling New York Yankees have placed rookie Ben Rice in the cleanup spot as part of a lineup change for Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

Since June 15, the Yankees have the worst record in the majors at 5-16. However, they still hold a wild-card spot in the AL, having posted the best record at 50-22 through June 14.

Rice becomes only the sixth player in team history to hit at least five home runs in his first 19 games. The first baseman hit a home run in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Rays, following his historic achievement as the first Yankees rookie to hit three home runs in a single game against Boston last Saturday.

“We’re mixing things up a bit,” remarked Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “He’s been consistently delivering strong at-bats.”

Alex Verdugo has taken Rice’s place as the leadoff hitter, with Juan Soto and Aaron Judge maintaining their spots at second and third in the lineup.

Ben Rice celebrates after hitting a home run

“I believe Ben’s approach is solid right now,” added Boone. “He’s clearly in a good rhythm. Hopefully, he can provide a strong presence in the middle of our batting order.”

Regarding other team news, Boone confirmed that the Yankees have signed left-handed reliever Tim Mayza to a minor league contract. Mayza was released by Toronto on July 5 after posting an 0-1 record with an 8.03 ERA in 35 games this season.

“It’s been a challenging year for him,” acknowledged Boone. “He has performed well previously in the AL East. This is a low-risk opportunity for us to evaluate his potential contributions.”

Over his seven seasons in the majors, Mayza has amassed a 20-8 record with a 3.87 ERA across 352 games.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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