Coining the Yankees most underrated relief pitcher to start 2022

wandy peralta, yankees

The New York Yankees’ bullpen has been phenomenal to start the 2022 season, notably Michael King and Clay Holmes. However, the most underrated relief arm to start the year has been Wandy Peralta, a 30-year-old veteran who split his time between the San Francisco Giants and Yankees in 2021.

When the Bombers acquired Peralta from San Francisco, he hosted a 5.40 ERA over 8.1 innings. However, the Yankees managed to extract the best version of Peralta, who finished the 2021 campaign with a 2.95 ERA, 76% left on base rate, and 58.7% ground ball rate, his highest since he joined Major League baseball in 2016.

Peralta‘s exit velocity allowed last year was 85.9 for the Yankees but has dropped 84.1 this year, showcasing even better efficiency. To start the campaign, Peralta hosts a 1.80 ERA, 83.3% left on base rate, and 53.3% ground ball rate. His strikeouts per nine are down significantly to 4.50, but he’s generating a lot of outs, giving up eight hits over 10 innings of action.

Looking at Peralta’s pitch usage, he relies heavily on his fastball, which he’s throwing 50.4% this year, up tremendously from 37.4%. His slider usage is down quite significantly to 2.8% this season. The Giants loved to utilize his slider at 38.8%, but clearly, the Yankees see more value in allocating attention toward his fastball. He’s averaging out at 94.7 MPH with his FB.

Peralta also has a lethal change-up, which he’s throwing at 46.8% this year. However, he has something a bit unique about his fastball, it provides sinking action. In fact, he throws a sinker at 45.1% and a four-seam fastball just 4.9% of the time, which displays a recent trend for the Yankees.

After acquiring Clay Holmes, it seems as if management has seen more value in sinker-ball pitchers than simple four-seam fastballs.

Nonetheless, Wandy isn’t getting that much attention because of the performances from Michael King and more prominent names, but he’s executing at a very efficient rate.

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