The New York Yankees are hyper-focused on top prospects Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, and Jasson Dominguez, but they have a few surprise performers this spring that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Ultimately, the Yankees could use more diversity in the bullpen since Wandy Peralta represents their only lefty in relief. Peralta is one of the team’s best pitchers, but a heavy right-handed bullpen may take away from what manager Aaron Boone can do to strategize around lefty hitters.
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The Yankees could promote Tanner Tully to the 26-man roster:
The performance of 28-year-old Tanner Tully this spring has suggested he might win a 26-man roster spot. Tully made three appearances and pitched 6.0 innings with the Cleveland Guardians in 2022, spending his entire career with the club. He tossed 122 innings for their Triple-A affiliate, hosting a 4.72 ERA and 7.23 strikeouts per nine. Seemingly, Tully has the longevity to feature in a starting role but would likely come out of the bullpen as a potential asset for the Yankees.
This spring, Tully has been lights out, striking out two batters and walking just one across 5.2 innings. He hasn’t allowed an earned run yet, and with his ground-ball-oriented arm, his change-up and sweeping slider are exciting pitches the Bombers could utilize during the regular season.
While his 6.0 innings of major league sample size don’t give us much information to work off of, he does have a few stand-out metrics. His slider generates 18% more horizontal movement, having a sweeping motion, which is precisely what pitching coach Matt Blake prefers. He doesn’t have the most enticing velocity, averaging 91 mph on his 4-seam fastball, but he has good location and accuracy.
Nonetheless, he could have a similar role to Lucas Luetge, who the Yankees ended up trading to the San Diego Padres earlier this off-season. Luetge was a long relief arm that had the benefit of being a lefty.
Tully has similar longevity and stamina, so he could easily replace that role if the Yankees are willing to give him an opportunity. Based on his performance this spring, we should expect to see Tully feature sometime during the 2023 regular season, whether that be sooner or later.