Yankees could be getting back lowkey bullpen arm to support down the stretch

Alexander Wilson
stephen ridings, yankees
Aug 15, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Stephen Ridings (70) throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are getting healthier, and while it’s been a slow process to get players back, they have still won six of their last eight games and are preparing to return several impact individuals.

However, while most are waiting on Scott Effross, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman to return from the injured list, one underrated option indicated he might be on his way back, boarding a flight Monday afternoon.

27-year-old bullpen arm Stephen Ridings, standing at 6’8″ and 220 pounds, hasn’t pitched since the 2021 season, tossing five innings before going down due to injury. Ridings has been progressing through a throwing program, participating in live bullpen sessions, and preparing to make the jump to the minor-league affiliates for rehabilitation games.

“He’s trending in the right direction, his stuff is rounding back into shape,” Blake told SI two week sago. “Hopefully we get him back into some games here soon so we can keep assessing where he’s at.”

The Yankees could get some production out of Stephen Ridings down the stretch:

There is a ton of excitement regarding Ridings, who was placed on the 60-day injured list back on April 5 with right shoulder impingement syndrome. Dealing with a variety of shoulder issues, it seems as if he’s finally making substantial progress in his return.

Over just five innings, Ridings posted a 12.60 strikeouts per nine rate, 66.7% left on-base rate, and 1.80 ERA. The sample size is small, but he was averaging 97.1 mph with his fastball. He primarily throws a 4-seamer and slider, but he has a blazing velocity and solid location to pair.

Having more bullpen options is always a benefit for a baseball club, specifically the Yankees, who have been dealing with significant adversity over the past few months. It is possible he gets a bit of action before the 2022 season comes to an end, and if he is preparing to start a rehab assignment, they could return him to the MLB roster within the next few weeks.

That means the Yankees could be getting back Ridings, Britton, Chapman, and Effross around the same time, which will undoubtedly give them plenty of arms to work with come the postseason.