Yankees call up bullpen arm despite desperate need for youth movement

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

As the New York Yankees prepare for their next series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, the atmosphere is tense, given their precarious playoff situation.

Dimming Playoff Prospects

Despite the unwavering confidence displayed by manager Aaron Boone and heavy-hitter Aaron Judge, the team’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. They find themselves lagging 6.5 games behind in the Wild Card standings. It might be more pragmatic for the Yankees to focus on the future, instead of clinging to hopes of rescuing this season.

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Yankees’ Prospects on the Horizon

The baseball grapevine is buzzing with speculation about several promising prospects who might be called up for the remaining season. Everson Pereira, the outfielder, is prominently featured in these discussions. After showcasing his talent in 32 games with Triple-A, Pereira boasts a commendable .308 average, .361 OBP, and a 114 wRC+.

Alongside his notable stats, including six homers and 31 RBIs, Pereira’s defensive skills hint at him possibly securing a starter position in 2024, potentially as a left fielder.

Yet, in a surprising move on Friday afternoon, while Pereira’s promotion was confirmed, the Yankees also brought up bullpen arm Greg Weissert, hinting at their intent to bolster the pitching segment.

Weissert’s Stats and Role

Weissert, 28, has been quite active in Triple-A this year, having played 36.2 innings and maintaining a respectable 3.19 ERA. He has marked his presence in six games for the Yankees this season, covering 6.2 innings and recording a 4.05 ERA.

Weissert’s pitching portfolio is embellished with 9.45 strikeouts per nine innings, a 98% left-on-base rate, and a 55.6% ground-ball rate. However, Weissert’s tendency to grant elevated walk and home run rates remains a concern.

Given the starting rotation’s current predicaments, the Yankees have increasingly leaned on their bullpen to shoulder a bulk of the innings. With Jhony Brito anticipated to start the game on Friday night, there’s a pressing need for Weissert to step up and provide support.

Looking ahead, there’s some relief in sight for the team. They eagerly await the return of their major free-agent acquisition, Carlos Rodon. After successfully completing a simulated session this week, Rodon is expected to rejoin the team in the coming days, hopefully bringing some much-needed momentum.