Yankees close to getting essential bullpen reinforcements

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers
Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ bullpen has been plummeting down the standings over the past few weeks, experiencing yet another blown save by Clay Holmes on Friday, who gave up a game-tying home run to Masataka Yoshida in the 9th inning. The Yankees went on to lose the game in extra innings, further demoralizing their confidence levels and putting themselves in a difficult spot ahead of the All-Star break.

Scott Effross: Anticipated Reinforcement for the Bullpen

However, the team is eyeing one key reinforcement in the bullpen with 30-year-old Scott Effross approaching a return. Manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday that Effross was “getting closer” to a return. The last time the Yankees saw Effross on the mound was back in 2022 when they acquired him from the Chicago Cubs. He tossed 12.2 innings for them, hosting a 2.13 ERA before suffering a UCL injury that required Tommy John Surgery.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, scott effross
Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Effross’ Promising Rehab and Unique Pitching Style

Effross has pitched 71.1 innings in his MLB career, and having missed the last year of play, the Yanks are hoping that he can turn back the clock and offer the value they saw two years ago when they initially acquired him. Effross has made six rehab appearances, including four in Triple-A. He’s given up three earned runs over his first 4.1 innings with the Yankees’ highest minor-league affiliate.

Effross has an interesting arm slot, which creates massive movement and deviation on his pitches. Back in 2022, he ranked in the 95th percentile in expected ERA at 2.51 and had just a 4% barrel percentage, which ranked in the 94th percentile. He had a 94th percentile ranked off-speed run value, indicating he had massive movement on his pitches that opposing hitters couldn’t touch. He threw his slider 40.2% of the time at just under 80 mph back during his best season. It generated a .149 batting average, including 40.3 inches of vertical movement and 12.5 inches of horizontal break.

A Critical Piece for the Yankees’ Bullpen

Effross also has a sinker and change-up at his disposal, tossing a four-seam fastball on occasion as well, but it is his least used pitch. With the Bombers desperately needing support in the bullpen, Effross should be a big part of the equation, and hopefully, he can stay healthy for the duration of the campaign.

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