Yankees have a lowkey relief arm that could make a big impact this season

jimmy cordero, yankees

The New York Yankees have had a few issues in the bullpen the past few weeks as they wait for Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman to make a return from injury. However, thanks to solid starting pitching and impeccable offense, they’ve managed to win nine of their last 10 games, just squeaking by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of a three-game series on Monday night.

Over the weekend, the Yankees lost relief arm Ryan Weber to free agency instead of accepting an assignment to Triple-A Scranton. However, the team is waiting on one more low-key arm to make an impact this year, Jimmy Cordero.

What does Jimmy Cordero offer the Yankees?

Cordero last pitched in 2020 but suffered Tommy John and missed the 2021 campaign. He pitched 26.2 innings as a bullpen piece for the Chicago White Sox. His 6.07 ERA was a clear indication of his struggles, especially after recording a 2.89 ERA with Chicago and Washington in 2019.

Pitching coach Matt Blake has already indicated that Cordero will likely have an opportunity to make an impact this year, especially with his right-handed approach. At 30 years old, Cordero traditionally utilizes a sinker and slider as his primary pitches.

“Going to be tough on righties,” Blake said, via NJ.com. “So with a lot of right-handed lanes we see in the (American League) East, I think he’ll fit in as one of those situational relievers where you can come in and go through four or five tough righties.”

In 2020, Cordero threw his sinker 58.5% of the time, mixing in a slider at 14.2% and change-up at 11%.

“Seems like for the most part he’s been solid, getting back into competition,” Blake said. “The velocity is in a pretty good spot overall. Not quite where he’s at historically, but pretty close. Like 95-96 mph. The sinker and slider are in a good spot. He’s kind of developed a little bit more sweep to his slider. Now, just a matter of getting that slider in the middle of the strike zone a little bit more. Overall, he’s just got to probably have a few more games just to work on the zone control and ultimately he’s right in the mix.”

Sinkers and sliders for the Yankees!

Blake has looked for sinker ball pitchers that also feature sweeping sliders, which has contributed heavily to the Yankees’ success in the bullpen. In fact, that is how they stumbled upon Clay Holmes from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who most shunned by the fan base after the Yankees traded a hot young prospect to acquire him.

However, Cordero is two years removed from baseball and has the stuff to fit into the Yankees bullpen seamlessly. The last piece to the puzzle is throwing more strikes early in the count and putting the finishing touches on his location.