The Yankees are still re-discovering their identity in the backend of the bullpen with the struggles of All-Star closer Clay Holmes. While the Yankees have gone 11-6 in September in a nice rebound, they’ve done so with a league average ERA from their pitching staff in the month (3.81 ERA). This can be attributed to the wave of injuries they suffered in the rotation and bullpen, but with Luis Severino’s sparkling return against the Pirates, Scott Effross looks to join the fold and stabilize the backend of the bullpen for the Yankees. Acquired at the deadline from the Chicago Cubs for RHP Hayden Wesenski in a rare 1-for-1 swap, he’s posted a strong 3.24 ERA while in pinstripes with a 2.75 ERA on the season. How can Effross help elevate this bullpen in the late innings?
Scott Effross the Closer for the Yankees?
When you look at Win Probability Added, a stat that adjusts for the high leverage moments of a baseball game, Scott Effross collected a 1.00 WPA in just 8.1 innings. He’s already closed a game on pinstripes at Fenway, and has navigated through extremely high-pressure situations in the Bronx. Clay Holmes has struggled, and while Jonathan Loaisiga and Wandy Peralta definitely deserve some run at the closer job, Effross has the best season FIP in the group, and is arguably the best mix of high K rates and soft contact. Effross also handles lefties and righties very well, which makes him a great option in the 9th as teams are more desperate to throw in pinch-hitters off the bench in desperation moves to get baserunners.
- vs R: 22.1% K-BB%, .288 wOBA, 0.27 HR/9
- vs L: 20.3% K-BB%, .174 wOBA, 0.93 HR/9
Batters simply cannot hit Effross regardless of which box they stand in, and that’s a key part of his closer viability.
Pressing Right Into Action
Effross threw just one rehab inning before getting reinstated alongside some bullpens on the side. He’s ready to go, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Aaron Boone turns to Effross to close a game or get big outs in the 7th/8th out the gate. The Yankees want to grab wins now and clinch the division with time to rest at the end of the season. This team’s played a lot of high-stress games all year, and to steal wins and give the team the final week of the season to get healthy could help this team get to 100% for October.
Scott Effross being back is part of a wave of guys getting activated off the IL, and with the Yankees at 10-4 in their last 14 contests, it couldn’t come at a better time to get the Yankees on a roll.