The Yankees have bullpen problem brewing ahead of playoffs

Alexander Wilson
aroldis chapman, yankees

The New York Yankees might have a strong starting pitching rotation with adequate depth, but their bullpen is facing a ton of adversity, with the playoffs nearing in about a week.

The team can’t afford to be losing any more relief pitchers, as they did with rookie Ron Marinaccio, who aggravated a shin injury that had been bothering him this season.

Marinaccio has been fantastic this year for the Bombers, hosting a 2.05 ERA with 11.45 strikeouts per nine and a 81.3% left on-base rate over 44 innings. It was expected he would play an integral role during the postseason out of the bullpen, but there is legitimate concern he may miss elimination rounds now due to the injury.

The Yankees are dealing with several ailments in the bullpen:

However, the 27-year-old pitcher isn’t the only relief arm dealing with an injury. Currently, the Yankees have clay Holmes recovering from a shoulder strain, who is unlikely to pitch the rest of the regular season, Wandy Peralta, who is suffering from back issues, and veteran lefty Zack Britton was placed on a 60-day IL.

Manager Aaron Boone believes that both Holmes and Peralta will return for the ALDS, but they won’t have much time to ramp up, being thrown right into the fire. With that being said, the Yankees may have to look toward a few less efficient pitchers to help supplement.

Aroldis Chapman may get the call again:

Notably, Aroldis Chapman may end up making the playoff roster after all, despite having an awful past few months. Against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, Chapman gave up three walks and two earned runs, elevating his ERA to 4.58 on the season. He was quite effective in the month of September, allowing just one hit over 4.1 innings, but the polarizing nature of his performance this season makes him unreliable.

That puts a lot of pressure on players like Jonathan Loáisiga, Scott Effross, and Lou Trivino. Ultimately, if the starting rotation can’t carry the team beyond six innings on a game-by-game basis, the Yankees will run into trouble and will need some of their starters left out of the postseason rotation to step up and help out of the bullpen.

The team does have a week left to get their primary pitchers healthy, but there is a lot of caution heading into the playoffs with prominent arms coming off injury.