Yankees lose key bullpen arm to UCL surgery, will miss rest of 2022

New York Yankees, Chad Green
May 2, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Just several days after the Yankees announced that depth starting pitcher Luis Gil will miss the rest of the season to Tommy John surgery, they’ve now lost a key bullpen arm to go with it.

According to Lindsay Adler of The Athletic, Aaron Boone stated that Green would require UCL surgery. He was recently placed on the 15-day injured list, but they decided that surgery would be better for his long-term future after more observation.

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How long will Chad Green be out for?

The recovery time for UCL surgery is about 12 weeks, and then you have to consider a ramp-up to get back to regular pitching. That would indicate that Green will be out for the rest of the season. Currently, in a contract year, the Yankees will likely let him walk in free agency next off-season unless they’re willing to bring him back on an extremely cheap contract.

Over 14 appearances this year, Green hosts a 3.00 ERA over 15 innings. Unfortunately, after years of significant action, Chad’s velocity has dropped to 94.7 mph with his fastball. After this injury, there’s no guarantee he will ever make a full return.

In the meantime, the team now has to figure out a way to supplement Green’s loss. One option is Triple-A relief pitcher Ron Marinaccio. This year, the 26-year-old righty has made four appearances but hosts an 11.25 ERA.

Marinaccio is raw, so giving him more action may help him develop more efficiently. He’s averaging out at 94.2 mph with his fastball, incorporating a change-up and slider. The young relief pitcher has middling velocity and still has a long way to go before he can be a regular bullpen arm. However, Green’s role has shrunk consistently over the past two seasons. Marinaccio filling a mid-inning relief role isn’t out of the question.

However, general manager Brian Cashman could be scouring the trade market for a potential gem like Clay Holmes. Another in-house name to keep an eye on is JP Sears. Sears has been dominating with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has a 0.83 ERA over 21.2 innings.

Sears might be an even better option than Marinaccio at this point, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the call next week.