Get to know Stephen Ridings, the Yankees’ rookie reliever who impressed against the O’s

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The New York Yankees battered the Baltimore Orioles 13-1 on Tuesday night, behind three masterful performances from rookie pitchers and, of course, a majestic offensive performance.

Luis Gil, the Yankees’ number six prospect, threw six scoreless frames and completely shut down the O’s offense with a three-pitch mix highlighted by a triple-digits fastball, a fantastic slider and a good changeup.

He was, undoubtedly, the star of the night for the Yankees. But two relievers combined to retire the other nine Orioles hitters. Stephen Ridings struck out three hitters in the seventh and worked around a Maikel Franco double, while Brody Koerner allowed a single run in a couple of frames.



Ridings, in particular, was thoroughly impressive. He flashed a fastball with ride that sat in the 99-100 mph range, and a wicked slider with sharp, late break. The Yankees, it seems, have a good one.

“It was our first time seeing [Ridings] in person,” Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said to MLB.com. “The stuff was impressive from the side. He had a little strut out there. We were impressed with his demeanor.”

The Yankees’ newest scouting gem?

Ridings has enormous potential should the Yankees give him the opportunity to win a spot. He is a Long Island native and a St. Anthony’s High School grad. According to Minor League Baseball’s official page, he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2016. He is a 6’8’’ right-hander, and is 25 years old.

He joined the Yankees in 2020. In 29 innings between the Double-A Somerset Patriots and the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, he has a 1.24 ERA this season, with four walks and 42 strikeouts. He has been flat-out dominant.

His grandmother passed away Monday, the day before his debut with the Yankees.

“To be able to have this moment with my family in the stands was very special,” Ridings said. “In the midst of my family trying to figure out funeral plans and wakes and dealing with all that, getting the call today and having this moment with them was indescribable.”

 

Can Ridings be the Yankees’ newest scouting gem and stick in the bullpen?

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