Aaron Boone, at this late date in the season, is trying to sort out how to deploy his bullpen personnel and he may have a few more pieces to consider soon, including Triple-A closer Greg Weissert and rehabbing Zack Britton.
With Scott Effross (shoulder) joining Clay Holmes (back) on the injured list and Aroldis Chapman reverting toward untrustworthy, Boone has an unsettled late-game picture three-quarters of the way through the schedule. He says the plan, for now, is to mix-and-match to try to determine a consistent pen back end.
The return of Holmes, who the Yankees are currently optimistic will return when his IL stint is up next Monday, will likely return instantly to a prominent role, possibly right back to closing.
As for other possibilities, the Yankees actually weighed promoting Weissert for the weekend series against Toronto, thinking that his slider against the Blue Jays’ heavily right-handed lineup could be a factor, Boone told The Post. But with the lefty-leaning Mets to follow, the Yankees decided to hold off and called up journeyman Luke Bard.
But Weissert is now part of each discussion about relief options. He has not allowed a run in his last 22 outings (23 innings), striking out 33 against five walks. The Bay Shore, N.Y., native has 18 saves at Triple-A this year with a 1.77 ERA, .145 batting average against and .462 OPS against. The 27-year-old, a 2016 18th-round draft pick, has to be put on the 40-man roster this offseason anyway or he would be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft.
Britton has not pitched this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last Sept. 9. If his rehab continues smoothly, he would be viewed as a Yankee option at around the one-year anniversary — roughly the same point at which Miguel Castro and Luis Severino also are on a trajectory to return.
Britton had a bullpen session on Sunday at the minor league complex in Tampa and is due for another on Wednesday. At that point, the Yankees will decide whether to send him on a minor league rehab, likely with their Tampa team to begin.
If it all worked out perfectly (which is rare), the Yankees would have to decide which pitchers to have eligible for the final weeks of the season. Rosters expand to 28 on Sept. 1, but the limit is 14 pitchers and Britton, Castro, Severino, Weissert and Albert Abreu all are on the radar.