The New York Yankees‘ starting rotation has experienced an unpredictable series of events this season. From Carlos Rodon’s chronic back injury diagnosis to Nestor Cortés’s shoulder issue sidelining him for several weeks, the team has been compelled to find replacements for significant losses during the first half.
The Emergence of Heroic Young Pitchers
In the face of these challenges, the Yankees have seen inspiring performances from several young players promoted from Triple-A.
Among them, Jhony Brito stands out as a pitcher who has endured a roller coaster of highs and lows, delivering some impressive performances along the way. An often-underlooked starter, Randy Vasquez, also made his mark during the Yankees’ 6–3 loss on Wednesday night, pitching five scoreless innings across 75 pitches.
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Randy Vasquez’s Standout Season
Vasquez boasts a 1.17 ERA for the season across three starts, conceding only two earned runs over 15.1 innings and striking out a total of 10 batters. Despite giving up two runs across 4.2 innings against the San Diego Padres on May 26, Vasquez has since pitched 10.2 innings without surrendering a single run or more than five hits.
The 24-year-old might only be striking out 5.87 batters per nine innings, but he has maintained an impressive 96.6% left-on-base rate, a 38.6% ground ball rate, and a 5% HR/FB ratio.
Vasquez’s Pitching Portfolio
Examining Vasquez’s specific pitches, he employs a diverse arsenal that includes a four-seam fastball, cutter, sinker, sweeper, change-up, and curveball.
His key pitches, the fastball, cutter, and sinker, are employed using a tunneling concept to generate deviation. Vasquez’s four-seam fastball has an average speed of 94.8 mph and 2435 RPMs of spin, yielding a .143 batting average against this season. Despite a small sample size of seven at-bats, his change-up, which he throws just 11% of the time, has not been hit. Moreover, his sinker is yielding a .083 batting average with a 16.7% put-away rate.
Vasquez’s Continued Development and Future Prospects
Behind the scenes, the Yankees continue to refine Vasquez’s abilities, with a particular focus on his slider and breaking pitches. While his fastball appears to be progressing substantially, the promise he’s demonstrated positions him as a potential asset for the team down the line.
At the very least, Vasquez has been a reliable spot starter for the Yankees this season, holding his own despite the offense’s struggle to provide support. His ability to step up amidst the team’s pitching adversities has undoubtedly helped keep the Yankees competitive, showcasing his potential value for the future.