The Yankees may have a secret pitching weapon

jhony brito, yankees
Feb 26, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jhony Brito (76) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have already lost three starters to injury in the rotation, specifically Frankie Montas, Carlos Rodon, and now Luis Severino. Montas is expected to miss most of the 2023 regular season, potentially making a return in August. Rodon could find his way back in April, having pitched a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday, taking a step in the right direction. Severino could be placed on the injured list with a lat injury, different from the one he sustained in 2022 that knocked him out for a few weeks.

In the meantime, Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German are expected to take on starting slots, but the Yankees have one more spot to fill, and they may have a secret weapon to get the job done coming out of the minor-league system.

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The Yankees may have something legit in Jhony Brito:

25-year-old pitcher Jhony Brito has made a stellar first impression this spring, enjoying a fantastic performance against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 26. Over 5.1 innings, he struck out three batters and didn’t allow a base runner. In fact, this spring, he hosts a 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and has posted 10 strikeouts across 13 innings.

“It felt like a big opportunity,” Brito said through an interpreter. “It was a great way for them to see if I can keep being the pitcher I’ve been in camp and in my career: somebody that attacks the zone. Really good opportunity to show what I can do and how I can pitch when facing hitters.”

Via the New York Post.

Brito can be utilized as a long relief option or a supplemental starter. He pitched 112.2 total innings across AA and AAA last year. With Somerset, he pitched 42 innings, hosting a 2.36 ERA and 8.14 strikeouts per nine with an 80.2% left-on-base rate. In AAA, he continued his success, posting a 3.31 ERA, 6.75 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.6% left-on-base rate across 70.2 innings.

His sustained success indicates he’s ready for the big leagues, and performed well during spring training against major league talent, which certainly indicates he’s prepared. Brito isn’t known for his heavy strikeout numbers but has a 50-grade fastball, 45-grade curveball, and 45-grade cutter.

Brito’s fastball averages just south of 95 mph, so he has decent velocity. He likes to attack the strike zone and put pressure on opposing batters. He’s known for his dangerous change-up and nasty curveball.

“I think it matters,” Boone said. “He’s got our attention all camp. He’s earned a strong reputation in player development. He was very at ease doing what he was doing today. That was good to see.”

This is a player that shouldn’t be overlooked moving forward, considering his nasty breaking stuff and good velocity. Many have him pegged as a back-end rotation starter and relief pitcher who can be utilized as a versatile piece. Keep a close eye on Jhony since the Yankees are considering promoting him to the 26th-man roster.