Yankees going with journeyman depth starter as 27th man for doubleheader

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Following the news that the Yankees-Guardians series opener would be postponed due to inclement weather, Saturday would become a doubleheader. This would mean needing another starter, as pitching Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt on the same day would mess up their rest schedule with six games in five days. Needing an emergency starter for tomorrow, the Bronx Bombers would announce that Cody Poteet would be their choice to be their second starter for the twin-bill.

It will be his first outing since 2022 at the Major League level, and after making two strong starts in Triple-A, he made the most sense of any option on their 40-man roster. Entering his age-29 season, this is a chance to open some eyes and be their go-to pitcher if someone were to go down during the year.

Cody Poteet Will Be the Yankees’ Second Starter In Doubleheader

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
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The New York Yankees signed Cody Poteet to a Minor League deal this offseason, and there was some buzz about his addition from people around the organization. YES Network play-by-play icon Michael Kay mentioned that the Yankees “really did their homework” on the right-hander, and while Spring Training didn’t go the way he hoped, his Triple-A outings certainly have.

It’s only been two starts, only tossing about four innings in each appearance, but he struck out 12 batters to two walks, flashing a wide array of pitches that he can throw. The profile includes a four-seamer and sinker that he can throw depending on the matchup, with his signature pitch being a changeup. Alongside his curveball, the Yankees have also added a sweeping slider to his arsenal, which has helped his swing-and-miss rates as a who

Cody Poteet gets over 10 inches of vertical separation off of his four-seamer, with the sinker helping him keep the ball on the ground and generate soft contact. The question for Poteet remains whether he can consistently locate his breaking balls in the right spots necessary to generate strikeouts.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays
May 25, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Cody Poteet (72) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In Miami, he had added a sinker briefly and saw an increase in groundball rates and an improvement in his ERA, but the Yankees likely aren’t going to stretch him into the sixth or seventh inning. Just like Luis Gil, Cody Poteet missed most of the 2023 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery, although he’s considered to have better command. He’s likely more of a four or five-inning option, and that does place pressure on Clarke Schmidt to deliver a strong outing and pitch deep into this game.

This also means that guys like Luke Weaver and Josh Maciejewski who can provide multiple innings in an outing are also going to need to keep themselves ready. It’ll be an interesting game for the Yankees to navigate through, as they’ll face off against Carlos Carrasco in Game 1 and Triston McKenzie in Game 2, with both starters coming off of subpar 2023 campaigns.

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