As the regular season approaches its end, the New York Yankees are keeping the ball rolling with minor adjustments to their lineup. Just days after promoting former top prospect Estevan Florial, the team claimed right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
Luke Weaver Joins the Yankees: A Career Reset at 30
Formerly a first-round draft pick in 2014, Luke Weaver is set to join the Yankees’ roster, aiming for a career revival at 30. This season, he’s clocked 110.1 innings, making a return as a starter after only starting one game last year for both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kansas City Royals.
Weaver’s 2022 Season Stats: A Closer Look
Weaver has had 22 starts this season, posting a rather high 6.77 ERA and 4.85 xFIP. His other statistics include 7.59 strikeouts per nine, a 66.6% left-on-base rate, a 35.3% ground ball rate, and an 18.2% HR/FB ratio, accumulated during his time with both the Cincinnati Reds and the Mariners.
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Filling Gaps in the Roster: A Short-term Solution?
With Nestor Cortés and Luis Severino sidelined for the rest of the season, it appears the Yankees are simply looking for a stand-in, hinting that Weaver’s stint with the team could be brief. In his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, Weaver pitched only 4.1 innings, surrendering four earned runs and striking out just two batters.
Breaking Down Weaver’s Pitching Arsenal
The experienced pitcher’s repertoire includes a four-seam fastball, change-up, slider, and curveball as his go-to pitches. His fastball, clocking an average speed of 94.1 mph, has a subpar .320 batting average against and a .567 slugging rate. Unfortunately, Weaver’s pitches don’t exhibit much movement, ranking him in the lower echelon of league averages.
Possible Bullpen Transition: A Strategic Move?
The Yankees might envision a different role for Weaver, potentially converting him into a long-inning relief pitcher focused on specific pitches. Such a transition would shift him away from his current role as a starter, but it could be a strategic play by the Yankees to maximize his utility.
By opting for smaller moves and roster tweaks, the Yankees are showing adaptability and tactical thinking, even as the regular season winds down. Whether Luke Weaver’s tenure with the team will be short-lived or evolve into something more sustainable remains to be seen.