The Yankees might need to cut recently signed bullpen arm

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets, phil bickford, yankees
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The New York Yankees have been playing a risky game with their bullpen, attempting to navigate through injury and inconsistency. In their quest for stability, they’ve introduced new arms into the mix, but not all additions have proven effective.

Phil Bickford’s Troublesome Performance

Among the recent acquisitions is Phil Bickford, a relief pitcher with prior experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. Bickford, who has accumulated 185.2 innings in his MLB career, recorded a 4.95 ERA over 67.1 innings last season. Despite a solid performance in 2021, his ERA has not dipped below 4.72 since, and his current tenure with the Yankees is marked by significant struggles.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets, phil bickford
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In just five innings pitched for the Yankees, Bickford has posted an alarming 14.40 ERA. His most recent outing against Toronto was particularly disastrous: the Yankees, trailing 3-1, witnessed the Blue Jays rack up five runs in just 0.2 innings against Bickford, requiring 27 pitches before he was pulled from the game. The team was forced to use Caleb Ferguson and Clay Holmes, two key bullpen pieces, just to finish the inning, further straining their bullpen resources.

The Yankees Should Likely Move On

Bickford’s pitching arsenal, limited to a fastball and slider, becomes predictable once batters adjust to the pitches’ shapes and locations. With limited tools to vary his approach, Bickford struggles to maintain effectiveness throughout his appearances.

Given these challenges, it appears increasingly likely that the Yankees will designate Bickford for assignment in the coming days rather than continue to rely on him as a significant bullpen contributor. Meanwhile, General Manager Brian Cashman is expected to be actively seeking bullpen upgrades at the trade deadline, anticipating the return of several players from injury to bolster the team’s pitching staff.

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