Yankees eyeing key bullpen reinforcement with rehab assignment underway

scott effross, yankees

The New York Yankees‘ bullpen has faced several challenges recently, leading pitching coach Matt Blake to initiate significant changes. In response to underperformance, the team has released some players and demoted others to the minors, all while integrating new pitchers to stabilize the situation.

Scott Effross: Reinforcements for the Yankees’ Bullpen

Amidst the bullpen reshuffling, 30-year-old Scott Effross stands out as a notable reinforcement expected to make a significant impact in the coming weeks. Acquired from the Chicago Cubs in 2022, Effross has shown potential as a quality relief pitcher with the capability to handle high-leverage situations. Before his setback due to Tommy John surgery, he recorded a promising 2.54 ERA and 2.46 FIP over 56.2 innings, striking out 9.85 batters per nine innings with a 66.9% left-on-base rate and a 44.6% ground ball rate.

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers
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Effross’s Unique Pitching Style

Effross’s pitching is distinguished by his low release point, which generates considerable spin and deception, making it difficult for hitters to read his deliveries.

In 2022, he excelled in offspeed run value and xERA, ranking in the 94th and 95th percentiles, respectively. Although his fastball averages a modest 90.4 mph, his ability to induce swings on pitches outside the strike zone and minimize quality contact has been impressive.

His arsenal includes a slider, sinker, changeup, and four-seam fastball. His slider, in particular, has been effective, registering a .149 batting average against, with 27 strikeouts and a 30.1% whiff rate in the 2022 season. This pitch is notable for its significant vertical and horizontal movement, resembling the unpredictable path of a wiffleball. While his sinker has occasionally been hit hard, it plays a crucial role in inducing ground balls.

Effross has not pitched in a major league game for nearly a year, but his initial rehab outings have been promising. In his first two appearances with the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in Tampa, he allowed just one hit over three innings and struck out four batters. The Yankees are taking a careful approach to his recovery, allowing ample time between outings and gradually increasing his workload to ensure he returns to full strength without further setbacks.

As the team navigates this transitional period, Effross’s return could provide a much-needed boost to the bullpen, offering both skill and experience to a unit eager to regain its former reliability.

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