The Yankees are quickly approaching the 2023 season, with spring training starting in just two weeks. The bullpen is one of the team’s stronger units, but they are betting big on a few young players who don’t have much experience at the MLB level.
Having lost Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, and Miguel Castro this off-season to free agency, the Yankees only added Tommy Kahnle to the equation, so they will be elevating a few prospects to take on a more prominent role.
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Two bullpen arms the Yankees are relying heavily on in 2023:
As we saw in 2022, 27-year-old relief pitcher Ron Marinaccio has the goods. Over 44 innings, Marinaccio made a significant impression during his first season at the MLB level. He earned a 2.05 ERA, 11.45 strikeouts per nine, 81.3% left-on-base rate, and 41.5% ground ball rate. His 4.7% HR/FB ratio is also impressive, justifying a more serious role this upcoming campaign. Given the departure of several veterans, the Yankees are hoping that Marinaccio can continue to compound his success during his sophomore season.
Marinaccio hosts one of the best change-ups on the entire team, producing 18% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher. His 4-seam fastball generated 45% more horizontal movement, averaging out at around 95 mph. With solid velocity and impeccable break on his pitches, Marinaccio was unhittable at times but did go through a few injury scares.
Despite having just one year of legit experience, the Yankees are already confident he can pitch in high-leverage moments and showcases a cool, calm, and collective mentality.
The Yankees are prepared to elevate Greg Weissert into an everyday bullpen role this upcoming season. Weissert posted a 5.56 ERA across 11.1 innings last year, a tiny sample size that doesn’t necessarily show his quality. He didn’t give up a run over his last four appearances of the regular season in 2022, finally hitting his stride after struggling to acclimate.
Despite not featuring lethal velocity, Weissert throws the ball like a frisbee. His slider generated 78% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher and change-up 20% more horizontal movement. His fastball hovers a bit below 95 mph, but his breaking pitches are some of the best on the roster.
Weissert may end up having a similar year to Marinaccio, which is exactly what the Yankees are hoping for from the righty arm. Having pitched 11.1 innings in 2022, the former Fordham pitcher will essentially experience his rookie season at 28 years old.