After two strong outings to open the season, the New York Yankees boasted one of the league’s strongest bullpen units. Going into the season, there were major concerns regarding the starting pitching rotation, and over the first two games of the regular season, both Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino had their fair share of struggles.
Both starters gave up two-run homers in their individual outings, but the bullpen picked up the slack, showcasing resiliency and efficiency.
However, one newcomer was put in a high leverage situation against the Red Sox on Saturday after the Bombers pulled Luis Severino after just three innings of play.
Toms River native Ron Marinaccio enjoyed his first appearance in the MLB at 26 years old. Against the Yankees’ most feared rival, he went out and struck out two batters over one inning of play. With over 100 friends and family in the stands, Marinaccio showcased fantastic brake on his slider and good velocity with his fastball.
“There was a ton of adrenaline,” Marinaccio said. “That’s as special of a moment as I could have come into — Yankees-Red Sox. I’m kind of glad I got to kill two birds with one stone. I got the debut out of the way and got an exciting situation to pitch in as well.”
This was a moment that Marinaccio will never forget, and despite giving up one walk during his brief appearance, he worked his way out of trouble after several teammates came to calm him down.
“I definitely needed it,” Marinaccio said. “After ball five, Rizzo came out there and said, ‘Just give me a deep breath.’ And that’s exactly what I needed at that point. Higgy told me, ‘We’re going to go slider next pitch.’ I had confidence in him and landed that next one.”
To no surprise, first baseman Anthony Rizzo has taken on a leadership role early on in the season, smacking two homers in as many games and helping get the most out of the young Marinaccio.
Manager Aaron Boone had unwavering confidence in the rookie, and the Yankees might found themselves a secret weapon to deploy in the middle innings.[pickup_prop id=”22996″]