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Yankees place Zoilo Almonte on 15-day DL

The left fielder suffers left ankle sprain, Yanks recall Mesa and Neal from Triple-A
07/20/2013 5:48 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Through Friday, Almonte was hitting .261 with one home run and nine RBI in 26 games.(AP)
The New York Yankees made a quartet of roster moves Saturday, beginning by placing outfielder Zoilo Almonte on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle.

The Yankees also designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment, and replaced Almonte and Gonzalez by recalling outfielders Thomas Neal and Melky Mesa from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Almonte left Friday night's game against the Red Sox in the fifth inning with the injury, which he may have suffered or exacerbated while running out a ground ball in the second inning, and X-rays were negative. Through Friday, he was hitting .261 with one home run and nine RBI in 26 games.

Gonzalez was in his second stint with the Yankees, going 3-for-25 with three RBI since being recalled in late June, and when he took over in left field after Almonte was injured on Friday night, Gonzalez became the first Yankee to play five different positions in a season since Eduardo Nunez in 2011 and the first to play six in a career since Jerry Hairston Jr. did it in 2009.

When he was designated for assignment by the Yankees earlier this season, Gonzalez accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, so it is possible he could wind up back with the RailRiders once again if he clears waivers.

Of his replacements, Neal returns to the Majors for the second time this season; he was 2-for-11 in four games for the Yankees in June, and the Triple-A All-Star had a .314-2-29 line in 66 games with the RailRiders.

Mesa, meanwhile, will be making his first trip to the Bronx this season after posting a .249-9-22 line in 65 games at Triple-A. This will be his second career stint in the Majors, as he appeared in three games as a September call-up last season.

While neither was in the starting lineup, both Mesa and Neal are in uniform in Boston for Saturday's game - and if and when Mesa makes his first appearance he will be the 46th player to appear in a game for the Yankees and the team will surpass last year's roster total of 45.

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