Yankees could reinstate hard-throwing reliever off of the injured list on Friday

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Feb 15, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Nick Burdi (57) works out during spring training practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Burdi commenced a rehab assignment this past weekend that the Yankees scheduled to have started in Somerset, but inclement weather resulted in him being transferred to Scranton. After firing a perfect 1-2-3 inning with three strikeouts, he looked crisp with a fastball that sat around 97-98 MPH and a slider that looked as nasty as it did when he was healthy. The Yankees got seven scoreless appearances from the right-hander before hip inflammation sidelined him for a bit, but Aaron Boone mentioned before today’s game that we could see him reinstated on Friday.

Given that he threw out of the bullpen yesterday and the recovery process he’s likely going through following that outing, he wouldn’t have been available to pitch in this series. With that said, they could get a serious upgrade to their bullpen as they travel to Tampa this weekend.

Nick Burdi May Join the Yankees This Upcoming Weekend

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest thing that stands out about Nick Burdi’s arsenal is his power fastball, regularly sitting in the high 90s and occasionally hitting triple-digits. His sharp slider pairs with it well and the overall arsenal is made even better by the fact that he possesses such a unique arm slot, and the Yankees liked his Spring Training performance and data so much that they included him onto their 40-man roster ahead of Opening Day.

Through 6.1 innings with the Bronx Bombers, Burdi has a 0.00 ERA and has struck out eight batters to five walks, a differential that does need to improve, but it’s also a very small sample size. The thing is, his elite-level stuff makes it extremely hard to generate solid contact against him, with hitters having an 81.1 MPH average exit velocity against and not barreling up a single baseball against him.

Similar to Luis Gil, his stuff is so good that batters can work walks but still fail to score runs in the inning as they can’t get the contact necessary to put runs on the board, although Burdi’s command issues do make him a question mark when he inherits runners. The stuff is overpowering, and the Yankees already have the best bullpen ERA in baseball (2.22), so getting him and likely replacing Michael Tonkin on the roster would serve to make this reliever group even better.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: