The New York Yankees squared off against the Chicago White Sox in a doubleheader on Thursday. Although the White Sox triumphed in the first game, the Yankees blanked them 3–0 in the second game.
A star performance came from 24-year-old pitcher Randy Vasquez, who was called up just before the game to serve as the team’s 27th man.
After a disappointing outing from Luis Severino against Chicago, Vasquez delivered an exceptional performance.
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The Yankees got a gem from Randy Vasquez:
Over 5.2 innings, he allowed just two hits and struck out three batters, without conceding an earned run. This performance reduced his ERA to 1.74. Out of the 86 pitches he threw, 54 were strikes.
The Yankees’ entire pitching staff performed admirably, collectively striking out seven batters.
Having now observed two major league performances from Vasquez, it’s safe to say the Yankees may have unearthed a promising talent in this young player.
Despite his struggles at the Triple-A level this season, where he registered a 5.13 ERA across 47.1 innings, Vasquez has looked impressive in the major leagues.
Randy’s repertoire includes a cutter, sinker, curveball, and four-seam fastball. During Friday’s victory, he significantly favored his fastball, which averages nearly 95 mph. His four-seam and sinker complemented each other well, employing a tunnel concept to befuddle batters. His four-seam peaked at a velocity of 97.2 mph and his sinker at 96.9 mph.
A significant advantage for Vasquez is the similar release point for his pitches. It’s incredibly challenging for batters to discern any differences before the pitch is released when it consistently originates from the same point. Any minor details that could provide an advantage to an opposing batter will be exploited, so this consistency is a key component behind the effectiveness of Vasquez’s pitches.
In the victory, Vasquez threw only 40 pitches within the strike zone, yet he generated 54 strikes, forcing several foul balls and poorly hit pitches. All five of the hard-hit balls against Randy were either ground balls or line drives, meaning he avoided hard-hit fly balls, which often result in home runs.
So far, it appears the Yankees may have discovered a gem in this minor-league prospect. With Nestor Cortés now on the injured list, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vasquez given another start in the near future.