The New York Yankees have been sifting through bullpen arms over the past few weeks, with Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loáisiga missing time.
Both Chapman and Loáisiga should make a return in the coming weeks, but Green will miss the remainder of the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Nonetheless, the Bombers have called upon young options to fill the void, and they performed valiantly. Names like David McKay, Ron Marinaccio, and even veteran Manny Banuelos have been tossed into more prominent roles to help get through the middle innings.
However, the Yankees called up one veteran pitcher from their Triple-A minor-league affiliate on Thursday to help supplement the loss of Luis Severino.
Severino was dealing with viral symptoms, so the Yankees took precautionary measures and placed him on the Covid list. Luckily, he continues to test negative, meaning it could just be a normal illness.
In his place, the Yankees featured Clarke Schmidt as their starter and Ryan Weber to help soften the load.
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The Yankees must be happy with Weber’s performance:
Weber ended up pitching 3.2 innings, giving up two hits and just one earned run over 48 pitches. This was his first Major League appearance of this season. The Yankees might have something interesting with the frisbee-throwing right-handed relief arm.
At 31 years old, Weber has spent time with Atlanta, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Boston, and now the Yankees. His numbers have never been exceptional, but he has a few tantalizing pitches that move with insane break. Weber’s fastball hovers at just 89.2 mph, but he also features a slider, curveball, and change-up. His fastball usage is entirely appropriate to a sinker, which is exactly the pitch Matt Blake prefers.
Weber’s sinker was alive and well against Tampa Bay, generating a .182 batting average against with 2063 RPMs of spin. Over 17 pitches throwing his curveball, Weber earned a 50% WHIFF and 2300 RPMs.
The one thing to like about Weber is that he generates a ton of ground balls with a 53.2% average in that category. He is best utilized as a setup man. Batters quickly start to recognize the break on his pitches, given the low velocity. However, with the way his pitches dance around the strike zone, he could be a valuable piece down a line. Ryan was designated for assignment after Thursday’s win, back to Scranton, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him earn another opportunity down the road.