Jay Bruce is out and Mike Ford is in.
Bruce abruptly announced his retirement prior to Sunday’s loss against the Rays, but remained on the roster for the game.
On Tuesday, Ford was recalled from the alternate site in Scranton and had an RBI walk and a game-clinching catch to end the Yankees’ 3-1 win over the Braves at Yankee Stadium.
Ford’s walk with the bases loaded in the eighth gave the Yankees an extra run and he made a nice running catch in foul territory to end the game.
The 28-year-old provides a left-handed bat and suitable play at first base. The Yankees went with Bruce out of spring training hoping to get some power, as he also learned the nuances of playing first base.
Bruce’s defense turned out to be less problematic than his lack of production at the plate and he likely would have been jettisoned even if he hadn’t retired.
Ford was a solid addition in 2019, when he hit a dozen homers and had an OPS of .909 in 163 plate appearances after being called up from Triple-A.
But the former Princeton standout had an awful season a year ago, going 10-for-74 (.135) with just six extra-base hits in 84 plate appearances.
He trimmed down in the offseason, but didn’t impress in spring training, with a double and a homer in 27 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Luke Voit is on the mend from surgery to repair a torn left meniscus and is expected back sometime next month, so the Yankees still need to get a few weeks from a replacement when they don’t want to use DJ LeMahieu at first.
Gio Urshela provided most of the offense on Tuesday, with a homer and a double off Charlie Morton. Jameson Taillon called Urshela’s second home run of the season “timely,” as it tied the game in the fifth.
“Hopefully, that kind of sparks us,” Taillon said.
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. sat with a mild abdominal strain. He’s listed as day-to-day.