Yankees hope to get injured reliever back on mound this weekend

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are short-handed in their bullpen, as the injuries have begun to mount for that unit with the likes of Tommy Kahnle, Nick Burdi, Scott Effross, and Lou Trivino all on the IL. They expected to open the season with some of those names there, but the middle innings have been a trip for manager Aaron Boone as he’s tried to figure out how he’s going to bridge the gap from their starters to Clay Holmes. Nick Burdi, whom the team picked up as a Minor League free agent, was placed on the 15-day IL with a hip issue, but after receiving an injection they’re hoping to get him on a mound soon.

Aaron Boone told reporters today that the goal is to get him on a mound this weekend, and while that’s not set in stone, it could be a positive development for an understaffed bullpen.

Nick Burdi Could Make Progress In Rehab According to Yankees’ Manager

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The definition of effectively wild, Nick Burdi is one of the more volatile relievers in the Yankees’ bullpen, but his overall impact has been positive with a +0.09 Win Probability Added across seven scoreless appearances. His command can be erratic, but the elite-level stuff makes him nearly impossible to hit when he’s firing high-90s fastballs with a strong slider as well. We know that the Yankees have a great track record with identifying reliever talent, but the early results for this bullpen have been so-so.

While they’re sixth in ERA (2.98), the bullpen has been tested early and often, and in some assignments they’ve fallen short of clamping down a lead. Caleb Ferguson, whom the team acquired in a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hasn’t been as good as advertised, and the same could be said for various relievers on the team who have struggled to miss bats in the young season. Burdi on the other hand boasts a strikeout rate above 28%, which would certainly help the team in some big spots.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Mar 5, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes (35) pitches in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Anchoring that unit has been the underappreciated Clay Holmes, who has yet to allow an earned run on the season while having an MLB-best nine saves. He’s a reliable weapon for the Yankees, finding a great deal of success with his breaking balls and utilizing them to put away hitters in two-strike counts. His only blemish comes off of a blown save that occurred in Arizona where Anthony Volpe misfired a baseball to first base and gave the Diamondbacks an easy opportunity to knot the game up.

It may seem like a minor addition, but getting Nick Burdi back could give this bullpen some much-needed depth, especially as they press on into a stretch of games without a day off. How he responds to the injection to his hip and any throwing he does off of a mound will determine if he can return soon or not, but if the Yankees can get Burdi back it would be a really nice addition to a depleted unit.

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