For Yankee fans unfamiliar with Bollinger, it may be because his last port of call was the Australian Baseball League for the 2017 champion Brisbane Bandits, where he was one of the league leaders in victories.
Bollinger signed with the Yankees in December of ’17. Â He’s a 6’6, 230 lbs. lefty who was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 47th round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft.
A veteran of the independent league, where he spent time in 2010 and again in 2014-2016, Bollinger’s only experience in Major League Baseball came in 2011-2013 when he was in the White Sox system. Â He has also spent time during his career playing in the Canadian and German baseball leagues.
The well-traveled Bollinger, who had never pitched above low-A ball, began the ’18 season with two games for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders with a 4.00 ERA, seven hits, four runs, one home run, two hit batsmen, three walks and seven strikeouts.
He was then re-assigned to the Thunder, where he went 3-0 in five games with a .90 ERA, giving up 11 hits, three runs, two earned runs, four walks and 13 strike outs.
Overall, Bollinger has a 1.86 ERA and an 0.86 WHIP in 29 innings combined between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
What can fans expect from the southpaw? According to Kyle Franko of the Trentonian, Bollinger throws a fastball which sits between 85-88 mph.
Joe Giglio of NJ.com writes that:
“…Bollinger isn’t a huge strikeout arm. Throughout nine seasons in pro ball, the southpaw owns a SO/9 rate of 8.1. But that’s been accompanied by a BB/9 rate of just 2.6, leading to a SO/BB rate of better than 3.00.”
Bollinger has been a starter in the minors this season, but will likely be called upon to provide long relief with the Yankees.