Yankees promote Gittens, hope for jolt at first base

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees have promoted slugging prospect Chris Gittens from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hoping the hulking 27-year-old can provide a jolt at first base in his first turn in the majors.

New York entered Saturday night's game against Boston with its first basemen hitting .174 with five homers. The group's .531 OPS ranks 29th in the majors, ahead of only Cleveland.

Luke Voit led the majors as the Yankees' first baseman in 2020 but has played in just 12 games this season. He had left knee surgery in March and missed the start of the season, and he's currently back on the injured list with a right oblique strain.

DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford have split the bulk of the playing time at first, with LeMahieu also playing second and third. Ford was demoted to Triple-A this week after hitting .133 with a .561 OPS.

Gittens was a 12th-round pick by New York in 2014, and he's shown impressive power despite a slow climb up the minor league ladder. He's hit .265 with a .476 slugging percentage over seven seasons, including .283 with four homers, a .585 slugging percentage and a 1.071 OPS this season with the RailRiders.

Right-hander Corey Kluber (strained shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room. The move was expected, with Kluber likely out until at least late July.

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The Associated Press

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