The New York Yankees are losing one of their top relievers in recent times, as right-hander Tommy Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. He will be sidelined until at least late 2021, and chances are that we won’t see him until early 2022. It is truly a bummer, since the man of the wicked changeup had won the hearts of Yankee fans around the country with his performances.
But at the same time, the New York Yankees are also gaining another arm to help them navigate through this weird, shortened season. Luis Cessa, who hadn’t pitched this year after a positive COVID-19 test a few weeks ago, is now ready to go and was activated from the injured list on Wednesday.
The Yankees’ underrated relief arm
The Yankees bullpen corps can surely use an arm like Cessa. While he is not in the same level as Kahnle, he showed last season that he can be very successful if he prioritizes the use of his slider over his other offerings. That strategy paid off as he had his best season in 2019, with a 4.11 ERA in 81.0 frames.
It is unclear in which role Cessa will rejoin the Yankees. Over the years, he has been a spot starter, a long man, a traditional, one-inning reliever, and has even been part of the “Scranton Shuttle.”
Chances are that Cessa will operate as a long reliever in case he is needed, which will actually free up Chad Green to function as the game flow dictates. The Mexican hurler was at his best last season while working multiple innings per game (he completed his 81.0 innings in 43 games.)
Cessa will be available for the Yankees today, as they face a tough doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has the best record in the major leagues and despite losing one of its top relievers will try to keep it that way. Cessa can certainly help.