The Yankees released two bullpen arms on Wednesday to make room on the roster for Carlos Rodon and Tommy Kahnle. Specifically, they designated Junior Fernandez and Lucas Luetge for assignment, opening up a few spots in the bullpen that need to be filled.
However, the team projects that a few younger options will take on bigger roles in 2023, notably Ron Marinaccio. However, Greg Weissert is another talented young relief arm that could end up with a serious opportunity.
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The Yankees are very high on Greg Weissert:
Weissert made 12 appearances with the Yankees this past season, hosting a 5.56 ERA over 11.1 innings. He struggled to a degree, posting 8.74 strikeouts per nine, a 51.7% left-on-base rate, and a 40% ground ball rate. However, he finished the season without giving up a hit in his final four appearances, so clearly it took him a few up outings to gain his sea legs at the major league level.
Fans should be incredibly excited about Weissert, who utilizes a sinker, slider, 4-seam fastball, and change-up sequence. His sinker averages out at 95 mph, generating a .300 batting average this past season but curates 12% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher and 9% more vertical movement. In addition, his slider produces 78% more horizontal movement, a pitch he throws at 81.8 mph on average, and 36.6% usage. It produced a .130 average against in 2022, including a 21.6% whiff rate and 30% put-away rate.
Weissert’s Steamer projections indicate he will make 44 appearances for the Yankees next season, logging a 4.05 ERA across 44 innings. However, I believe his ERA will be well below that projection, given the unbelievable break on his pitches and the experience he enjoyed this year. He’s not a high-velocity arm but has good enough speed and generated a 6.7% weak contact rate.
Pitching coach Matt Blake loves slider/sinker combinations, which is why Weissert plays perfectly into his game plan for the bullpen.
At 27 years old apiece, Weissert and Marinaccio project to take on significant roles for the Yankees, but I wouldn’t be surprised if general manager Brian Cashman brought in a few more support pieces to help out this off-season.