The New York Yankees have bullpen arms dropping like flies, with Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes already on the injured list. Holmes is expected to return in September before the postseason, but losing him for the next few weeks will be difficult, considering the Yankees just lost three of four games to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend.
In his stead, the Yankees have relied on Lou Trivino, Ron Marinaccio, and Wandy Peralta. It is quite clear that Aroldis Chapman can’t be relied on in high leverage situations anymore, giving up three earned runs in his last two appearances, totaling just one inning of action.
The Yankees lost another bullpen arm recently, with Scott Effross potentially heading to the injured list. Effross is dealing with right shoulder stiffness, which has forced other relief pitchers to take on a more significant role.
Specifically, Trivino has stepped up big since joining the Yankees from the Oakland Athletics in the Frankie Montas deal.
Trivino has been a stud for the Yankees:
Trivino hosts a 1.00 ERA with the Yankees in the month of August. He’s given up one earned run and seven hits over 9.0 innings. He’s produced 15 ground balls and struck out seven batters in that timeframe.
“I’m up for anything,” Trivino said recently. “Honestly, whatever I can do to help this team win, I’ll do it. … I enjoyed today. It was nice to go out there and succeed and have success.”
On the season, Trivino features a 5.27 ERA, but clearly, the Yankees have begun to utilize him in a far different fashion.
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In fact, since joining the Yankees, he has seen his 4-seam fastball decrease from 15.8% usage to 7.7%. In addition, he’s utilizing his sinker and slider far more efficiently. He’s throwing his sinker at 32.1%, up from 28.2% in July with Oakland.
His slider is up to 30.1% usage from 26.6%. Clearly, Matt Blake is focusing more on his sinker/slider combination over his 4-seam fastball, which is generating a .350 batting average against this season.
However, in the month of August, his sinker is producing a .143 batting average against with a 16.7% whiff rate. However, his slider has been his primary strikeout pitch at 21.7%. He’s also producing a 41.7% whiff rate and .222 average.
The Yankees are clearly getting the most out of Trivino, who’s been fantastic in big situations. If Effross is forced to miss any time with the shoulder injury, the team can rely on Lou and Marinaccio to pick up the slack.
However, the Yankees are losing more players than gaining, which is not a great sign heading toward the playoffs. Luckily, mid-September is the target date for most of the team’s prominent injured players to make a return, notably Holmes, Harrison Bader, and Luis Severino.