As if things couldn’t get any worse for the New York Yankees, they learned on Thursday afternoon that relief pitcher Zach Britton would miss at least a year rehabilitating after undergoing surgery to reconstruct and repair his UCL, also known as Tommy John surgery. In addition, they removed a bone chip from his elbow, keeping him out until the end of the 2022 season, at least.
Zack Britton had a UCL reconstruction and repair (Tommy John surgery), in addition to a bone chip removal. That puts him out at least until the end of the 2022 season.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 9, 2021
Britton finished the season with a 5.89 ERA and an eight-season-low 68% ground ball rate. He also walked a career-high 6.87 batters per nine innings and allowed nearly one homer per nine innings as well. It was clear he was dealing with something significant, which damaged his production and efficiency on the mound. Losing one of their best relief pitchers, the Yankees will continue relying on a bevy of inexperienced options.
In the most recent loss for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees rolled with several different relief pitchers to get through the game, as starter Luis Gil lasted just 3.1 innings before being pulled by skipper Aaron Boone. The majority of the Yankees’ bullpen has been problematic this year, and that reality doesn’t expect to change anytime soon as they crawl their way toward the end of the season. Currently, the Yankees are just 1.5 games ahead of Toronto in the Wild Card standings, and with the final game of the series Thursday night, they need to extract a victory before their playoff hopes slip away.