The Yankees signed Russell Branyan to a minor league contract this offseason which gave him a chance to fight his way onto the Yankees roster as the DH. Unfortuntely for him a bad back ruined his spring training and kept him on the shelf for almost three full months.
Like a true veteran looking to hang-on though, he stuck around, rehabbed his back, and now he’s healthy and playing everyday down in the minors. He’s absolutely crushing the ball down there too. In 13 games so far he is hitting .318/.483/.795 with six homers and three doubles.
It’s gotten to the point where if the Yankees don’t call him up soon, he will likely ask for his release and hook on with another team soon.
But where could they use him? Branyan has never been an amazing player, especially not in recent years, but one thing he can do is beat up on right handed pitching. In his career he has a .239/.338/.495 line against righties which is immensely better than his .206/.287/.441 line against lefties.
What the Yankees should do with him is to call him up and begin using him against righties. If Branyan is the DH, they could use Raul Ibanez in left field against right handed pitching while Gardner is out and they would actually have a dangerous lineup again. He wouldn’t be much use against lefties though, but he could be a solid weapon off the bench.