Since the 2016 season, the New York Yankees have called up pitcher Luis Cessa 14 times, half of them coming this past year. With a solid fastball ranging between 96-98 mph, Cessa offers value as a backend starter or relief option.
After putting up four shutout innings last Saturday, it seems as if the Yanks can finally trust him with a bigger role, and he might be forced into one at the beginning of the season with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia missing time. The two starters will likely begin the period on the injury list, which ultimately presents an opportunity for Cessa to claim the 5th starting spot if Sabathia misses any extended time in 2019.
While spring stats aren’t as telling as you’d hope, starting off on a high note and bringing momentum into the regular season could do the trick for the young Mexican pitcher.
It’s too soon for the New York Yankees to trust Cessa completely:
Despite an impressive spring this year, he’s been rather inconsistent throughout the course of his career. He’s 5-11 with a 4.71 ERA over 43 games in the MLB. In 2019, he finished with a 1-4 record. His 5.24 ERA in 16 games didn’t help provide optimism for the future.
But, there’s always room for improvement, and clearly, manager Aaron Boone saw the value in giving him another chance to take his game to the next level.
Cessa stated after his impressive outing on Saturday:
“I’m focusing on fastball command because when you have fastball command, you can use your secondary pitches to finish the hitter,” said Cessa, who has 10 strikeouts in nine innings of play.
Boone commented on Cessa’s performance this spring:
“His fastball for registering high on the gun is a pitch that hitters see pretty well,” Boone said. “So if he doesn’t locate that pitch really well, that’s a pitch that sometimes has gotten him in some trouble when he misses out over the plate. But we’ve also seen him have dominate stretches, too, because his breaking ball can be such a weapon.”
With the 26-year-old, it all comes down to location and accuracy. If he can maintain his command in the campaign ahead, he could be primed for a breakout season with the Bronx Bombers.