June 18, 2024

The New York Yankees’ bullpen has fluctuated recently, falling from the best in baseball to third.

Adjustments in the Yankees’ Bullpen Strategy

Despite this, they remain a strong group, exceeding expectations and outperforming their cheap price tags under pitching coach Matt Blake, who has a cumulative ERA of 3.05 for his high-leverage pitchers. The recent roster changes, which included assigning Dennis Santana and recalling Ron Marinaccio from Triple-A, are intended to improve bullpen efficiency.

Anticipating Reinforcements from Injured Players

The Yankees have decided not to trade assets to improve their bullpen, instead waiting for the return of two crucial pitchers from injuries.

 

Yankees to sign former reliever Lou Trivino - Pinstripe Alley

 

Lou Trivino, who will miss the whole 2023 season due to Tommy John surgery, had a strong half-season with the Yankees in 2022, posting a 1.66 ERA and impressive rates in left-on-base percentage (83.9%) and ground ball rate (51.7%). Trivino, known for his sinker-slider combination and the occasional cutter, is projected to contribute significantly to the bullpen in the second half of the season.

Similarly, Scott Effross is expected to return to the bullpen mix. Effross is now working through bullpen sessions under the watchful eye of manager Aaron Boone while recovering from Tommy John and back surgery. He did not pitch in 2022, but he had previously proved his skill with a 2.54 ERA in 56.2 innings split between the Chicago Cubs and the Yankees.

After joining the Yankees, he posted a 2.13 ERA before his season was cut short. Effross, who pitches in a submarine manner, uses a sinker, slider, and change-up, which, despite the strain on his elbow, make him a valuable high-leverage alternative. With only two years of service, the Yankees own his contract until 2028.

These upcoming returns are considered as mid-season additions, allowing the Yankees to keep their prospect pool and MLB-ready talent while perhaps shifting their attention to strengthen other areas of the team. This plan not only protects critical resources, but also positions the Yankees to address any further demands as the season progresses.

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