Yankees bullpen arm Zack Britton takes big step in recovery process

New York Yankees, Zack Britton
New York Yankees, Zack Britton

The New York Yankees are getting closer and closer to returning veteran relief pitcher Zack Britton, who hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing surgery to repair a UCL injury.

Britton pitched just 18.1 innings last season, featuring a career-worst 5.89 ERA and 5.01 xFIP. He enjoyed just 7.85 strikeouts per nine, a 62.9% left on-base rate, and a 68% ground ball rate.

However, adding Britton back to the bullpen should help mitigate fatigue down the stretch, especially if the Yankees don’t plan to use him in the postseason. Given Zack hasn’t had the luxury of ramping up over the course of the season, he will likely serve a specific purpose and situational option against left-handed batters down the stretch.

Britton has been working his way back with Somerset in Double-A the past few days but was elevated to Triple-A affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday afternoon. In Britton’s last rehab outing, he struck out two batters in a scoreless inning, showcasing solid stuff.

Per the Yankees:

Today, the Yankees transferred the rehab assignment of LHP Zack Britton from Double-A Somerset to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Britton was hovering in the low 90s with his sinker, a bit lower than his usual numbers around 95 mph. In 2021, he sat at 92.6 mph with his fastball, throwing it 84% of the time. The 34-year-old veteran is a heavy sinker/slider pitcher, meaning he fits Matt Blake’s mold perfectly.