The New York Yankees boast the best bullpen in Major League Baseball this season, recording a remarkable 3.06 ERA. This accomplishment is noteworthy, given that they rank below average in terms of strikeouts. Their prowess is evident as they’ve successfully kept rival teams’ scoring rates low, conceding the least amount of earned runs at 138.
However, given the robust state of the bullpen, it was intriguing to see General Manager Brian Cashman focus on acquiring two relief pitchers at the trade deadline instead of reinforcing the offense.
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Tanner Tully’s Exit
In a significant development, the Yankees announced the release of one of their bullpen arms on Friday afternoon. Left-handed pitcher Tanner Tully was the player released, who immediately found a new home with the NC Dinos in the Korean Baseball Organization.
Tully pitched 91 innings this year with AAA Scranton, making 19 appearances. His stats featured a 5.64 ERA, 7.62 strikeouts per nine, a 66.7% left on-base rate, and a 40.7% ground ball rate.
Sadly, the 28-year-old bullpen asset couldn’t establish a strong presence in the minor-league system, even after a few promising seasons with the Cleveland Guardians. Following a 4.72 ERA over 122 innings last year with Cleveland, his stint in the MLB appears to be concluding. His final chance to turn things around with Scranton wasn’t successful, leading the Yankees to forgo any potential promotion.
Spencer Howard: The Yankees’ New Developmental Piece
Following Tully’s departure, the Yankees will shift their focus toward newly acquired Spencer Howard. Howard, a 27-year-old former top prospect, has been plagued by several injuries in the past.
Despite appearing in 38 MLB games and recording a 7.20 ERA over 115 innings, Howard’s promising velocity and talent haven’t been fully realized due to his struggle with pitch location. The Yankees are optimistic that Matt Blake can help Howard navigate these challenges, as he continues to do with other promising talents in the bullpen.