Yankees announce injury to hard-throwing bullpen arm, call up young starter to add depth

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, nick burdi
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Burdi, who had gone on the IL earlier this month with right hip inflammation, finds himself back on the injured list as the Yankees announced earlier today that he was placed on the 15-day IL. The right-hander has tossed 9.2 innings for the team with a 1.86 ERA, but his high walk rate (20%) has resulted in a high 5.41 FIP over that stretch. He’s viewed as a high-upside reliever, but with two stints on the IL already, his questionable injury history has reared its ugly head early into the season.

In his place, the Yankees are calling up Yoendrys Gomez, a top-30 prospect who made his MLB debut last season when he fired two scoreless frames in relief against the Blue Jays.

Nick Burdi Placed on IL, Yankees Bring up Yoendys Gomez

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks, nick burdi
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The season so far has been about as advertised for Nick Burdi, who has a ridiculous 120 Stuff+, but struggles to find the zone and has dealt with injuries all season. Right now, the Yankees are hoping that they can hold things together until the likes of Ian Hamilton can return in the near future, and they’ll go to Yoendrys Gomez as one of these plug-and-pitch options. It further depletes a Triple-A staff dealing with some injuries, as the Yankees begin to shuttle names up to deal with their injury issues in the bullpen.

Yoendyrs Gomez has a modest 3.62 ERA with the RailRiders, but just like Burdi, he has struggled to consistently throw strikes through his first eight starts. Perhaps in a bullpen role, we could see Gomez not only throw with more intensity but also have an easier time finding the zone as he won’t need to rely on sequencing or mixing up his pitches as much in this kind of role. It’s unclear how long he’ll be with the team, especially with Ian Hamilton expected to be activated soon.

mlb: spring training-pittsburgh pirates at new york yankees, yoendrys gomez
Mar 6, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Yoendrys Gomez (87) throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth inning during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen Yoendrys Gomez’s velocity tick up in recent outings, as the right-hander is sitting cloiser to 93 MPH after averaging around 90 on the fastball in the early parts of the season. His fastball gets around 16 inches of vertical ride with high spin rates, sporting a slider, changeup, curveball, and cutter to boot as well. He gets a good amount of sweep on his slider with a changeup that plays well off the fastball.

The right-hander could be an intriguing long-term depth piece thanks to his deep arsenal and above-average grades in terms of Stuff+, but his arsenal likely plays a lot better out of the bullpen. We also know that Gomez is somewhat liked in the organization since he was originally placed on their 40-man roster before he even reached Double-A, with injuries holding him back throughout his Major League career.

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