The Yankees have a budding star in the bullpen

ron marinaccio, yankees
Mar 15, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Ron Marinaccio (97) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Marinaccio appears ready to rock following a fantastic spring training for the Yankees. The Don was told that he made the Opening Day roster a few days ago, though that should come as no surprise. He pitched extremely well this spring, and his rookie season was great all around. The Yankees also made sure to play it safe with him this spring, as they didn’t activate him until a few weeks in. 

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Yankees are expecting a big year from Ron Marinaccio:

Ron the Don should be on everyone’s radar going into this season, and if he’s not, you should probably get with the program. He’s got a great repertoire of three filthy pitches, and if his slider takes a step forward, it’ll be nighty-night for opposing hitters. His changeup specifically is one of the best pitches in the entire league, and he looks to take a step forward this season. 

Last year, he tossed 44.0 innings and posted a 2.05 ERA with a 3.20 FIP. He struck out 11.45 guys per nine, gave up a measly two HR all year, and posted a very solid 41.5% GB% — which was a big improvement compared to his minor league grounders that he induced. Simply put, he was electric. He did everything the team asked and then some, and also was sent down solely because he had options but didn’t complain. 

He’s the definition of solid, and the Yankees should be absolutely looking into expanding his role and usage this season. I’m not saying they should pitch him until his arm falls off, but I am saying they shouldn’t elect to use worse arms just so they can say they’re playing it safe with Ron. He deserves the opportunities that come his way and has certainly earned them by pitching with flying colors. 

Spring has sprung, and now the Don is ready for real baseball:

This spring, he tossed 7.1 innings out of the ‘pen, struck out 15 batters, and only gave up one run. He walked onto the bump and walked off, having struck out the side in three different occasions. His changeup, which was the 7th best in baseball according to BaseballSavant, had a -8 Run-Value on it — which means it was absolutely filthy. His fastball was sitting 95/96 MPH this spring, and he was able to ramp it up as he threw more pitches. He’d sit 93/94 and then pump it up the more he threw. 

Having Marinaccio healthy and taking a big leap this year is just what the Yanks need. With Kahnle and Trivino on the IL for the foreseeable future and the question marks surrounding a few names — Abreu, Cordero, Weissert, it’ll be important for Ron to establish consistent good innings that he can get under his belt. The team needs him to take that next step forward, and I’m pretty confident he will. 

The Don is coming for the crown this season and will be an integral part of a bullpen that, on paper, looks to be arguably the best in baseball. It has the depth, the talent, and countless guys that feature filthy combinations. Having Ron as part of the backend of it will give the Yankees tons of reinforcements for their starters if they are unable to go deep into games. With Sevy and Rodón starting the year on the IL, it’ll be even more important that the bullpen does its job. 

Marinaccio is a poised reliever who never looks phased on the bump, whereas hitters that step in the box immediately look flabbergasted when he throws three straight disgusting pitches by them. It’s a usual David v Goliath type matchup, except this time, Goliath squashes David like a big. Ron the Don will be a household name by the end of the season, if he isn’t already, that is. 

Opening Day is Thursday, and the Yankees roster is almost entirely completed. The last bullpen slot is still in flux after the team options both Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton to Triple-A. Both guys have good stuff, as Weissert has that filthy swooping slider, and Hamilton has an excellent cutter that he peppers in exuberantly. However, neither compare to the Don, who will be used in huge situations this season. He’s a key part in this chase for 28.