NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Better late than never, Jose Pirela is set to make his season debut for the Yankees.
After missing about six weeks with a concussion, Pirela was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday and inserted into the lineup for the rubber game of New York’s series in Toronto.READ MORE: Christopher VanKleeck's Family Says Police Shooting 'Appears To Be Justifiable'
He took infielder Gregorio Petit’s spot on the roster, Petit, who was hit by a pitch on the right hand late in the Yankees’ 6-3 win on Tuesday night, was placed on the 15-day DL, the team announced.
Off to a somewhat surprising start following an extremely disappointing 2014 season, the AL East-leading Yankees are currently on pace to score around 150 more runs than they did last year.READ MORE: Ford Maverick: Hybrid Truck 'Challenges Status Quo, Stereotypes' Of Pickups, Expert Says
They look like they may seriously challenge for a playoff spot because the top of the lineup — Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner — always seems to be on base and the Bombers are bombing again, hitting home runs with regularity.
Now they have another table-setter in Pirela ready to do his thing. The 25-year-old Venezuelan was to start at second base and bat ninth on Wednesday.
Pirela came up at the end of last season and hit .333 (8-for-24) with a .360 on-base percentage in seven games. The performance garnered him a lot of attention and had many thinking he would at the very least challenge for the starting job at second in spring training, or, if that didn’t work out, be a utility player off the bench.
Pirela hit .370 (10-for-27) with a .433 on-base percentage in 15 spring games, before a collision with the center field wall in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on March 22 sidelined him with a concussion.
Following a three-level rehab stint that saw him hit .364 (12-for-33), including 10-for-15 over the last three games, Pirela is ready to make his season debut with the big club.MORE NEWS: FBI: Suspect Killed During Kidnapping Investigation At Leonia Apartment Complex
With Stephen Drew struggling mightily at the plate, Pirela, considered a solid fielder, could at some point become the team’s full-time second baseman. Drew is hitting just .167 in 24 games, seemingly a carryover from last season when he hit an abysmal .162 in 85 games with Boston and New York.