New York Yankees Analysis: What does Kluber, Taillon, and O’Day bring to the Yankees? (videos)

Jameson Taillon, New York Yankees
Apr 14, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) pitches during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Kluber:

The New York Yankees signed Corey Kluber to a one year $11 million contract. Kluber could be as good a pitcher as Gerrit Cole if he can return to form. In 2018 he had 20 wins for the Indians. He is a two-time Cy Young Award winner that has 18 wins in both 2016 and 2017. If you can believe that Yankee slugger can have another 2017 season, you can also believe the same with Kluber.

New York Yankee fans will be delighted to watch Corey pitch. One of the reasons he is so successful is that he is a five-pitch pitcher that can complete games. Kluber throws five pitches: a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a cutter, a breaking ball, and a change. His strikeout pitch is his dominant two-seam sinker. He has been a workhorse and will be unfazed by playing in New York as he is stoic on the mound and doesn’t lose his cool. By all accounts, he is also a nice guy and a good teammate.

Kluber’s award-winning pitching style includes five pitches, one of the keys to his pitching success. He most recently relied mostly on his two-seam fastball that he throws at 92 mph and throws as a sinker. He also relies on his 84 mph slider. He mixes in the changeup, cutter, and his  92 mph four-seam fastball. Kluber is not just a power thrower; he is a pitchers pitcher who has good command and limits home runs.

Kluber’s nickname is “Klubot.”


Jameson Taillon:

Jameson Taillon is another pitcher that didn’t pitch last year. His 2019 campaign was cut short when he needed Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed over the offseason and during the 2020 season. Completely recovered, he will be ready to pitch on day one of the 2021 season.

From 2013 to 2019, he threw 7,285 pitches, all of them occurring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2019, he relied primarily on his Slider (89mph), Fourseam Fastball (95mph), and Sinker (95mph); he also mixes in and curveball and changeup. Taillon is a totally different pitcher than Kluber, which is good if one follows the other. Taillon gets a lot of ground balls. His fastball is straight as an arrow and is his strikeout pitch.

With the trade, the Yankees have team control of him until the end of the 2022 season, when he will become a free agent. Taillon reinvented himself as a pitcher after his second Tommy John surgery. He now uses his legs more, which takes the string off his elbow. If Taillon can return to his former form, he could be a number two starter; it all depends on how Cole and Kluber pitch.

By bringing Taillon on board, the Yankees are reuniting him with Gerrit Cole. He and Cole are great friends. They played in the minors together and with the Pittsburgh Pirates during 2018 and 2018, so he will feel right at home. Taillon’s name is pronounced “Tie-own.”

Darren O’Day:

The addition of Darren O’Day to the New York Yankee’s bullpen give the bullpen an all-new look. The Yankees can now bring in a submariner in relief. A submarine pitch is when the ball is released, often just above the ground but not underhanded, with the torso bent at a right angle, causing the hips to pivot. His submarine pitch is not extreme and is almost like a sidearm. The pitch confuses many hitters as they don’t see that type of pitch frequently.

This past week O’Day signed a one-year contract with the Yankees for $2.5 million. The contract also has a team/player option for 2022. O’Day last year in 19 games was 4-0 with a minuscule ERA of just 1.10, better than any Yankee reliever last season. O’Day pitches well against right-handed batters, which makes him a somewhat natural replacement for Ottavino. He throws almost comically soft by today’s standards; his fastball has sat around 86 miles per hour over his last few seasons. He doesn’t give up home runs, and when hitters hit him, it’s for soft contact, usually resulting in ground balls.

O’Day gives Yankee manager Aaron Boone great versatility with the bullpen. If he has to use multiple relievers in a game, he can drag Green Green out of the pen to throw his fastball, O’Day’s sidearm slider (which resembles an overhand cutter), Britton’s bowling ball, and Chapman’s heater and slider combination. The Yankees like to make opposing hitters dizzy in late innings by making them face relievers with distinct and varied approaches; O’Day brings the ultimate tool to change the hitter’s eye line.

O’Day sounds like a good ole Irish name, but actually, he is of Polish ancestry. His original family name was Odachowski.