The Yankees have another budding star in the bullpen

ron marcinaccio, yankees
May 11, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Ron Marinaccio (97) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The recent performances of Ron Marinaccio for the Yankees have been somewhat disappointing. In two of his last three games, he conceded four runs. However, in his latest outing, we saw a return to the familiar form of Ron.

When Marinaccio delivers, the Yankees’ bullpen significantly improves and becomes markedly more threatening. He has one of the most intimidating pitch mixes in the league and is already on track to surpass some of his stats from the previous season.

Marinaccio made a sensational debut last year as a rookie and became an essential asset for the bullpen. The Yankees utilized him accordingly, and despite dealing with injuries, he maintained an impressive form. He recorded a 2.05 ERA and 3.20 FIP across 44.0 innings, struck out 11.45 batters per game, and registered a scant 4.7% HR/FB%. His dominant performance was a boon for the team, and if not for a late-season shin injury, he would have been a significant contributor in the postseason.

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Marinaccio is emerging as a star for the Yankees:

Currently, he’s showing clear signs of progress. Despite conceding four runs in two of his prior three games, he allowed just four runs in the preceding 14. He went through a rough patch but seems to have rebounded. During his last game against the Rays, he struck out two players, including Arozarena with a perfect pitch, demonstrating his typical form. If Marinaccio uses this as inspiration and continues to efficiently mix his pitches, he will be an incredibly potent weapon.

What sets Marinaccio apart is the extraordinary movement on his changeup and sweeper — which has significantly improved this season. His fastball may not be the most remarkable pitch in his repertoire, but he can elevate it and precisely target the inside and outside edges of the plate. His changeup hasn’t been as dominant this season as it was last year, but as he uses it more, that’s bound to change. Last season, he had a -8 run value on that pitch, placing him amongst the best in the majors.

His fastball had a -7 run value last season, and this year it’s on pace to surpass that, already standing at -4. With Marinaccio performing at this elite level, the Yankees have another option for late-inning use, and Marinaccio is undoubtedly up for the challenge. His current stats show a 3.50 ERA and 3.36 FIP, somewhat skewed by the recent back-to-back rough performances. However, his K/9 rate this season is better, at 12.00, and he’s also achieving more groundouts than last year.

Marinaccio has a 50.0% GB%, an 8.5% improvement from the previous season, and continues to confront batters with confidence and composure. He always appears unfazed on the mound, and as he grows more comfortable dealing with unfavorable counts, he will be a significant threat in the league. As Marinaccio continues to impress and as his opportunities increase, his confidence will surely multiply. Watching him in action is a pleasure, and when “The Don” delivers, everyone takes notice. Hopefully, his recent game is indicative of what’s to come.