Yankees might have found a new bullpen weapon with rookie right-hander

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
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Yoendrys Gomez saved the New York Yankees’ bullpen after a disastrous start from Carlos Rodon, navigating through a red-hot Atlanta Braves’ offense in some hot humid weather. He came up to help provide some depth in the bullpen, and while the Yankees have used him as someone to get one outing out of before sending him down, tonight showed that he could be so much more for this team. Instead of having him serve as a depth arm in the organization, making spot appearances whenever the situation calls for it, this could be a massive opportunity for the Bronx Bombers.

With a diverse arsenal that includes a devastating slider and a riding fastball, the right-hander could take up a multi-inning role and provide some big-time innings for a depleted Yankees’ bullpen.

Yankees Could Get Serious Value Out of Yoendrys Gomez in 2024

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres
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The Yankees have struggled to get swings and miss out of their bullpen, but Yoendrys Gomez hasn’t seemed to have those issues. In his 4.2 innings of work last night, the right-hander struck out five batters and had a 32% Whiff Rate despite not having his sharpest command. What impressed me the most was his two excellent sliders, sporting an excellent sweeper with horizontal movement and a sharper slider with more vertical drop to mix up his looks.

As for his four-seamer, he didn’t throw it much but the pitch serves an important role in his arsenal since it establishes the top of the zone well with good riding action from a lower release height. When he’s locating the fastball well it’s a swing-and-miss machine, he just wasn’t able to consistently get it upstairs for swings and misses, and he worked around it by going to his secondaries often.

It’s a small sample size, but Yoendrys Gomez has a 34.8% strikeout rate through his first 5.2 innings of work, and the right-hander has shown an impressive ability to mix in a variety of pitches based on the opponent. If the Yankees want to bolster their bullpen internally, he could be a multi-inning relief weapon that they deploy similarly to how they used Jhony Brito last season.

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Yankees
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Matt Blake talked about the future of the league including versatile pitchers who can be starters or relievers, providing different amounts of lengths based on the situation.

““You can create more value by having more guys that can give you ‘length.’ It doesn’t necessarily need to be labeled starter or reliever, but stretching guys out and having hybrid roles will probably be a trend.”

– Matt Blake

Perhaps the Yankees develop Yoendrys Gomez into a role where they have him pitch multiple innings and provide some of their starters some relief as we get deeper into the season. The strikeout element that Yoendrys Gomez brings to the table is important, as before tonight’s game the Yankees’ bullpen ranked 22nd in strikeout rate (21.6%) and that opens the bullpen up to a lot of batted ball variance in key situations where looping line drive can result in multiple runs scoring.

Gomez is far from a finished product on the mound, no rookies are complete when they first come up to the big leagues, but the depth of his arsenal and the swings and misses are a good sign for what he could become. His stuff is excellent, and the Yankees have been able to convert guys with strong arsenals into quality bullpen weapons more times than we can count.

We’ve seen what having someone like Michael King or Jhony Brito could do for a bullpen, and Yoendrys Gomez could serve that role full-time for a team in desperate need of bullpen help right now.

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