The New York Yankees bullpen was decimated last week with Injury, losing Chad Green to Tommy John surgery, Aroldis Chapman to Achilles tendinitis, and Jonathan Loáisiga to shoulder inflammation. Since then, manager Aaron Boone has been forced to call on several younger options at the Triple-A level. Notably David McKay and Ron Marinaccio.
Both have struggled in their own regard. The bullpen pieces they lost were also having a tumultuous start to the 2022 season. However, they are proven veterans that have showcased excellence in the past. With injuries hurting the Yankees’ relief options, they could look to one exiled starting pitcher to help support the staff.
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Should the Yankees consider Dallas Keuchel?
The Chicago White Sox recently DFAd Dallas Keuchel from their roster, despite signing a three-year, $55.5 million deal back in 2020. Chris Guay of Pinstripe Alley suggested that the Yanks might be intrigued by his availability.
Keuchel is now a free agent looking for a new home. The Yankees may be willing to offer him a chance, given his past success. At 34 years old, Keuchel earned a 7.88 ERA over 32 innings before being cut by Chicago, but he’s coming off another tough season in 2021.
Over 162 innings, Keuchel logged a 5.28 ERA last season with just 5.28 strikeouts per nine. His 54.9% ground ball rate is a lofty number that the Yankees might find attractive, but specifically in a bullpen role. Prior to his 2021 season, Keuchel hadn’t allowed an ERA above 3.75 since 2016 with Houston.
Looking at his velocity, his fastball hovers at 87.1 mph, which is an extremely low number that doesn’t exactly fit the Yankees mold for pictures. However, he has a solid sequence, including a fastball, slider, cutter, and change-up.
Given the success that pitching coach Matt Blake has had with the starters this year, the Yankees might be willing to test their luck helping Keuchel return to his former self. His velocity hasn’t fallen off enough to justify this type of degradation. He has a solid array of pitches to choose from, he’s just failing miserably to put them in the right spot.
Given he is a lefty pitcher with over 1,500 innings of experience, giving him a chance to supplement a relief role could be in the Yankees’ best interest. However, that is assuming he’s willing to take on a bullpen role rather than a starting job.