Yankees lose valuable bullpen piece to Tommy John surgery

lou trivino, yankees
Mar 2, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Lou Trivino (56) throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning during spring training at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees continue to struggle with injuries, as Carlos Rodon faces another setback and valuable bullpen asset Lou Trivino undergoes Tommy John surgery, cutting his 2023 season short.

The Yankees were hoping Lou Trivino would be a key piece this year:

Trivino performed exceptionally well for the Yankees after being acquired in the Frankie Montas trade at last summer’s deadline. He had a 6.47 ERA with the Oakland Athletics over 32 innings but improved to a 1.66 ERA across 21.2 innings wearing the pinstripes. While his strikeouts diminished, his left-on-base percentage surged to 83.9%, and he achieved a 51.7% ground ball rate.

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Previously, Trivino had allowed a significant number of home runs, but he recorded a 5.6% HR/FB ratio with the Yankees, indicating a prominent role in 2023.

Regrettably, Trivino joins a lengthy list of players striving to return to the baseball field. Other bullpen components working towards recovery include Scott Effross, Tommy Kahnle, and Jonathan Loáisiga.

Effross underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of 2022, implying that he will not play this season. However, Loáisiga is on the 15-day injured list with an elbow injury, and Kahnle is recovering from bicep tendinitis, having been placed on the 60-day injured list at the season’s start. Johnny, in particular, recently experienced his own setback, which has sidelined him from throwing for 3-6 weeks. An August or September return seems to be the most probable timeframe.

At this juncture, the bullpen is the least of the Bombers’ concerns, as the outfield remains a weak point and starting pitching has been erratic. While optimism prevailed regarding the Yankees’ injury issues, the perfect storm has finally arrived, and their depth players have been unable to maintain stability in the interim.