Home News Yankees designate Dennis Santana for assignment, recall Ron Marinaccio

Yankees designate Dennis Santana for assignment, recall Ron Marinaccio

Early on in spring training, Aaron Boone was asked which under the radar player had stood out the most to him with camp still in its infancy. Dennis Santana was the first name the Yankees manager mentioned.

A former top prospect in Los Angeles’ system, Santana was a non-roster invitee after spending parts of six major league seasons with the Dodgers, Rangers and Mets. He hadn’t had much success, recording a 5.17 ERA over 143 games.

However, the 28-year-old had developed a cutter over the offseason, and the Yankees liked that he threw hard and had a sinker. With five pitches in his arsenal, Matt Blake saw a “mixed bag” and a pitcher who needed steering toward an “identity.”

“[He] maybe didn’t quite understand what his strengths were at the time,” the pitching coach said in spring training.

Blake and director of baseball operations Matt Ferry relayed that message to Santana and his agent during a Zoom call over the offseason. The righty was receptive and had seen what the Yankees had done for Clay Holmes’ career.

“If I go there, they can do the same with me,” he recalled thinking in a recent interview.

Alas, this reclamation project didn’t work out for the Yankees or Santana. The reliever was designated for assignment on Sunday after recording a 6.26 ERA over 23 games and 27.1 innings.

Santana most recently surrendered three earned runs over 1.1 innings in Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers. It was his second 30-plus-pitch performance of the week, as well as his second appearance in as many days.

To replace Santana, the Yankees recalled Ron Marinaccio.

The right-hander has been excellent in the majors and minors this season, recording a 1.42 ERA with the Yankees and a 1.17 ERA at Triple-A.

Marinaccio pitched in nine games for the major league club earlier this season and looked a lot more like the reliever who tallied a 2.05 ERA as a rookie in 2022. The Toms River, N.J., native wasn’t as sharp last year, ending the season with a 3.99 ERA in the majors and an 8.80 mark in the minors.


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