The New York Yankees have faced a bit of adversity with their bullpen in recent days, but some of the younger options have stepped up to the plate and handled bigger roles. With Jonathan Loáisiga fighting his way back from shoulder inflammation and Aroldis Chapman starting a rehab assignment on Friday afternoon, reinforcements are on the way.
However, there are several relief pitchers who could make an impact the rest of the way.
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Two lowkey relief pitchers who could help the Yankees significantly down the stretch:
Rookie bullpen arm Ron Marinaccio has made a name for himself this season. After a few tumultuous appearances to start the campaign, giving up five earned runs in the month of April, he’s only given up one hit during May and June combined, a 12-inning sample size.
Marinaccio has struck out 13 batters during that stretch, offering the Yankees a tremendous bullpen arm they can rely on to help in the middle innings. Considering he finished April with an 11.25 ERA and has lowered it to 2.81, his value is apparent.
The New Jersey native features a four-seam fastball, change-up, and slider. Opposing batters are hitting .143 against his fastball, which averages out at 94.4 mph. His changeup is generating a .045 average with a 43.4% WHIFF rate. Marinaccio uses his slider the least at 22.3%, generating a .250 average and 24% WHIFF rate. Interestingly, his four-seam fastball generates the most total movement at 20.9 inches with a 99% active spin rate.
While Marinaccio doesn’t feature elite velocity, he has great control and has clearly carved out a legitimate role for himself in the bullpen. He could be a huge asset for the Bombers once fatigue starts to set in.
The Yankees traded Albert Abreu to the Texas Rangers this past off-season in exchange for José Treviño. However, Texas DFAd him and he was released by the Kansas City Royals shortly after.
Abreu has excellent velocity with his fastball, averaging 97.5 mph. He also incorporates a sinker and slider into his game. After being picked up several days ago, Abreu was elevated to the active roster and made an appearance against the Houston Astros on Thursday night, working his way out of the inning despite a tough start. He immediately gave up a double and walk to Houston, but got lucky with a pop fly and double play to get out of the inning.
With pitching coach Matt Blake working wonders in the starting rotation and bullpen, Abreu could see his efficiency spike with a strategy change.
Abreu features a lackluster change-up, which he throws 11.8% of the time. If he eliminates the change-up from his sequence, he can begin to rely more on his fourseam fastball, sinker, and slider. His sinker could also use a bit of work, as opposing batters are hitting .222 against it with four hits over 18 at-bats.
Nonetheless, you don’t find pitchers like Abreu with such great velocity and a dangerous slider that often. Blake could turn him into a solid bullpen arm for the rest of the 2022 campaign.