The Yankees need to DFA one liability in the bullpen

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees currently sport one of the best bullpens in baseball despite the fact they have a number of injuries holding down the unit. They still expect Lou Trivino and Scott Effross to return around the summer trade deadline in two months, essentially representing two acquisitions they don’t need to worry about.

Thanks to the impact of players like Luke Weaver and Clay Holmes, things have gone well during the second half of games, not to mention the excellence from the starting rotation.

The Yankees May Need to DFA Dennis Santana

However, despite the Yankees’ red-hot start of the season and top-five bullpen, one of their relief pitchers has been nothing but a liability. 28-year-old Dennis Santana may be on his way out soon if he doesn’t start to trend in a better direction.

Santana is going on his third consecutive season with an ERA above 5.20, hosting a 5.68 this season with only 5.68 strikeouts per nine, a 54.8% left-on-base rate, and a 35.9% ground ball rate.

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres
Credit: David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

Clearly, pitching coach Matt Blake believes that he could get some value out of Santana, but he’s allowed five earned runs over his last two appearances, totaling just 3.1 innings.

Santana hosts a 2.66 expected batting average against with a 4.13 expected ERA, which is below his actual number but still inefficient. He utilizes a sinker, slider, cutter, and four-seam fastball as his primary four pitches.

Unfortunately, opposing batters are hitting .281 against his sinker and .400 against his slider. Santana is out of minor league options, so the Yankees are simply waiting to find a better player to replace him with. Finding quality relief arms on the waiver wire or elevating from Triple-A is easier said than done.

In the meantime, the Yankees will try to utilize Santana in low-leverage situations, just as they did on Wednesday when they had a significant lead over the Minnesota Twins.

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