Yankees bring back injured reliever on free agent deal, pending physical

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Yankees made their wave of non-tenders earlier in the winter, one of the roster cuts was right-handed reliever Lou Trivino, who had undergone Tommy John Surgery last Spring. He pitched brilliantly with the team after being a throw-in to complete the deadline trade for Frankie Montas in 2022. Trivino would serve an integral role with the Yankees as one of their most relied-upon relievers down the stretch, and he likely would have remained in their bullpen had he stayed healthy.

Now, he’s back with the Yankees, as Andy Martino of SNY reports a deal pending a physical with the veteran right-hander.

Lou Trivino Returns to Yankees on Prove-It Contract

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees

Brian Cashman and the Yankees have not been shy about their desire to add pitching depth, and they continue to boost their bullpen with the addition of Lou Trivino. It’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go by Opening Day, but considering that he underwent the procedure last May, one would believe Trivino still has some work to do before he’s fully cleared to pitch competitively. The addition comes with plenty of upside, as the right-hander clicked with the bullpen as his repertoire and usage were tweaked for better results on the mound.

Nobody anticipated that the best pitcher involved in the Frankie Montas trade would be Lou Trivino, but he truly was brilliant in his short time in pinstripes. The Yankees made some tweaks to his pitch mix to rely more upon his cutter and sweeper, as he has a diverse pitch mix that can play to right-handed and left-handed batters. His slider generates over 17 inches of horizontal movement and has big swing-and-miss numbers as well, with it being his best pitch according to Stuff+ (129).

Paired with a sinker that generates a lot of movement in the opposite direction, hitters have a lot of space to account for when they face Trivino, as he can throw a pitch running 17 inches in either direction with solid velocity. The pitch that marries the two movement profiles together is the cutter, as it hovers right on the zero-line for horizontal movement, and those three pitches combined for a 4.8 Pitching Run-Value.

lou trivino, yankees

Against left-handed batters, he can turn to his four-seamer and changeup, as the two pitches have over 12 inches of vertical separation and establish a north-south profile that works best against opposite-handed hitters. It’s rare that a reliever has command and feel for five different pitches in their repertoire, and it strengthens Trivino’s pitchability because there’s a pitch for every matchup at his disposal.

Pitching depth will be a huge question for the Yankees all season, as they hope to get rebound seasons from a myriad of injury-prone pitchers who had subpar seasons last year, but having a strong bullpen can mask some of those flaws. If the Yankees can assemble a strong bullpen as they usually do, it shortens the game for their starters, and when they need to turn to arms like Luke Weaver, Will Warren, or Clayton Beeter, they can limit them to four or five innings and let the bullpen take the rest of the game.

Lou Trivino is going to provide a much-needed veteran presence in their bullpen when he returns, and I’d imagine that he gets pressed right into action when he’s healthy and a spot opens up on the roster.

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