With all players having reported to Yankees’ camp, as spring training begins this weekend, stories are already beginning to build. One of the cooler ones from today’s workouts and live bullpen/hitting sessions was Ron Marinaccio picking up right where he left off. The Don struck out Judge, then Rizzo, and followed that up with a K of Giancarlo Stanton.
It’s way too early and truly doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme, but one can imagine it certainly helps his confidence going forward. The Yankees elected not to bring Marinaccio on the postseason squad last season, as a shin injury was hampering his abilities late in the year. However, now, Ron looks and says he is healthy and ready to pitch to the best of his abilities. It was only the beginning for the young stud reliever last season.
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2022 was just the tip of the iceberg for the Don
In his rookie campaign, he logged 44.0 innings — missed some time with a few separate injuries — and posted a 2.05 ERA with a 3.20 FIP. His elite stuff was on full display, and his changeup was one of baseball’s most valuable pitches. The disgusting repertoire he has to work with led to him striking out 11.45 batters per nine whilst only surrendering 2 HR all season. Marinaccio being healthy and now joined by fellow elite-changeup-hurler Tommy Kahnle means the future has only gotten brighter.
The Toms River kid should be tossed into the game in big spots, and I can see his high-leverage usage growing as the season progresses. He was expected to throw a live session to hitters tomorrow but is already ahead of schedule and wasting no time. The Don looks to take firm control of his situation and give the organization even more reason to believe in his abilities. Having him as one of the bridge guys to the backend of the pen is a luxury very few teams have.
Marinaccio worked his way to where he’s at but shows no signs of slowing down and being happy with what he’s accomplished. Like many guys on this team, it seems like he’s pitching with a chip on his shoulder, almost daring people to doubt him. If he’s able to work more on his slider and limit the walks (4.91 BB/9 in ‘22), he should see countless opportunities come his way. The Yanks’ pen is one of, if not the best, in baseball, and Marinaccio is just a piece in the grand puzzle.
Ron Marinaccio will play a big role for the Yankees:
His quick start in spring gives me tons of hope for what this season could hold for him. Assuming he’s able to get more chances in spring than he had last season, the hype could boil over into the season itself. Come Opening Day, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s warranted more set-up opportunities and even potential save situations. He’s got one of the brightest futures out of everyone on the pitching staff, and with more help around him, it should allow for the Yanks to use him wisely and somewhat sparingly.
Though he should certainly see 50-60+ innings in relief this season, he may not have to if everyone else is on their A-game. Having a healthy and refocused Jonathan Loaisiga was huge for the second-half of last season, and he looks to toss his hat in the ring for a potential closer role. Add to that Michael King being back and ready to ride, plus the aforementioned return of Tommy Kahnle, and this bullpen looks better than ever.
I expect greatness from the Don, and this season should just further excite me for what his career in pinstripes could look like. Maybe he ends up playing a pivotal role down the stretch and helps lead this team to World Series no.28.