The New York Yankees have been plagued by injury the past few weeks, specifically in their bullpen. Having lost Chad Green to Tommy John surgery, Jonathan Loáisiga to shoulder discomfort, and Aroldis Chapman to Achilles tendinitis, manager Aaron Boone has been forced to lean on several younger options to smooth over the losses.
Despite three important players missing the last two weeks, the Yankees have continued rolling thanks to phenomenal starting pitching and good offensive production. However, Green will miss the rest of the season, having undergone surgery. Loáisiga and Chapman should make a return at some point, but they are still nursing individual ailments.
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The Yankees could be getting back a huge bullpen piece in two months:
Luckily, the Yankees got a bit of good news over the weekend, specifically regarding lefty relief pitcher Zack Britton. Britton underwent Tommy John surgery last year, pitching just 18.1 innings over 22 appearances before going down. He had a 5.89 ERA, the highest in his career, indicating something was wrong.
Traditionally, Britton is one of the best closers in baseball, posting a sub 2.00 ERA during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Losing him was a tremendous blow to the bullpen last year, but his return could fuel a heroic resurgence, propelling the group into the postseason.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Britton is expected to make a return in August, having started tossing from the mound several days ago.
Zack Britton tossed from a bullpen mound today in Tampa. The session is said to have gone well. The #Yankees are hopeful that Britton could be back in the Majors as soon as August.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 3, 2022
If Britton can make a successful return in August, the Yanks will be able to mitigate fatigue with Chapman.
Aroldis has struggled this year closing games, so Boone has relied on Clay Holmes to pick up the slack. Eventually, Holmes is going to hit a wall, and they need to be ready to supplement his usage for a few days. If they can get Britton, Holmes, and Chapman operating at full strength, the Yankees will be in great shape come September. They currently host the best record in baseball, completing two consecutive series sweeps against the Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers.
The Bombers are 7.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East and have a three-game cushion over the Mets in all of baseball. They have won six consecutive games and have a +102 run differential. Adding another key bullpen piece will only help fuel what could be a historic season.