Almonte thrilled with first at-bat as a Yankee

Almonte thrilled with first at-bat as a Yankee

Almonte thrilled with first at-bat as a Yankee

NEW YORK -- Zoilo Almonte, ranked as the Yankees' 10th-best prospect according to, made his Major League debut in the second game of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader against the Dodgers, a 6-0 loss.

Manager Joe Girardi initially said that he had planned to start Almonte in Wednesday's second game, but he used him instead to pinch-hit for Austin Romine in the ninth inning. Almonte grounded out to third base facing Los Angeles reliever Brandon League.

"It wasn't exactly how I expected it to be, because obviously I made an out, but I'm still very, very happy about it," Almonte said through an interpreter.

Almonte was batting .297 with a .369 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging percentage at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, racking up six home runs and 36 RBIs in 68 games.

"We really believe this kid is going to hit," Girardi said. "At times, we really saw it in Spring Training. He struggled a little bit in Spring Training; maybe it was the excitement of trying to make a team.

"He has seemed to really swing the bat pretty well down there [at Triple-A], especially left-handed. He's a guy that can play either left or right [field], which is helpful in this situation."

Almonte was recalled on Tuesday, along with pitcher Adam Warren, when first baseman Mark Teixeira was placed on the 15-day disabled list and right-hander Chris Bootcheck was designated for assignment.

Girardi said that summoning an outfielder for a roster that has recently lost two infielders (Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis) was not ideal, but Almonte was the best option available at Triple-A.

"We've had to be a little bit creative," Girardi said. "Most of the guys on the Triple-A roster that we'd call up are hurt on the 40-man roster."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. David Wilson is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.