Yankees: 2 lowkey players who could have big roles in 2023

yankees, greg weissert
Sep 17, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Greg Weissert (85) delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees re-signed Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, and they brought back reliever Tommy Kahnle. There is still a lot of work to do in the offseason, though, and depending on how the roster shapes out, some unexpected players could receive an extended look and earn big roles.

The two players may seem unheralded by some, but they have the potential to be important for the 2023 Yankees.

Two potentially important contributors for the 2023 Yankees

Greg Weissert:

If you were to evaluate Weissert’s performance by just looking at the numbers, you would see a 5.56 MLB ERA in 11.1 innings and cover your face in disappointment. Thankfully, we now understand that, in this case, the sample size is insufficient to write him off.

Weissert’s 2022 was fantastic. He had a 1.69 ERA in 48 frames at Triple-A and struck out 13.13 hitters per nine innings, featuring a strong fastball-slider combo with the occasional changeup.

Once in the majors, his 5.56 ERA looks disappointing, but his 4.17 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is much more decent. He struck out 11 hitters in those 11.1 innings but did conceded five walks.

In reality, that high ERA goes down to 3.27 if we take away his MLB debut against the Oakland Athletics, in which he allowed three runs and walked two while getting just one out.

Weissert is better than his MLB ERA but probably not as good as his Triple-A mark. If he receives an opportunity from the Yankees (it will depend on the moves they make in the remainder of the offseason), he should be able to carve an important role and finish with an ERA in the threes.

Ben Rortvedt:

The third piece in the trade that brought the Yankees Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Rortvedt’s minor league performance suggests he can be a league-average hitter from the catcher position, which would be a fantastic outcome.

Injuries derailed his 2022 campaign, but he could earn a role for 2023 with a strong spring training, most likely as a backup to Jose Trevino.

His MLB performance hasn’t been very good to this point (.169/.229/.281 with a 41 wRC+ in 98 plate appearances), but the sample size is too small to draw any conclusions. He hit six Triple-A home runs with the Yankees this past season in 42 games and could challenge Kyle Higashioka for the backup spot.

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