The New York Yankees experienced a significant blow to their bullpen on Wednesday afternoon. Relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero was suspended for the rest of the 2023 season following a violation of the MLB’s domestic abuse policy. The league’s decision was based on evidence indicating that Cordero was involved in some deeply troubling incidents.
Given the gravity of the violation, Cordero faces a harsh penalty for his actions, assuming that due process has confirmed his guilt.
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Impact on the Yankees
At 31, Cordero was enjoying a comeback season with the Yankees. He had been performing impressively, posting a 3.86 ERA, 3.29 xFIP, a career-high 9.37 strikeouts per nine, a 67.3% left-on-base rate, and a 55.8% ground ball rate. His contributions from the bullpen were significant. However, the Yankees’ bullpen remains strong and expects the return of Jonathan Loaisiga in the coming weeks. Moreover, with added support for the rotation, one of their stars could potentially assume a relief role.
Adjustments and Alternatives
In the wake of Cordero’s suspension, the Bombers are likely to turn to their minor-league system for support. Notable names like Nick Ramirez (currently on the roster) or Greg Weissert could fill the gap. Despite Weissert’s struggles at the MLB level, where he’s posted a 4.05 ERA across 6.2 innings, he has had a respectable 3.20 ERA over 25.1 innings with Triple-A this year.
Pitching coach Matt Blake’s preference for sinkerball throwers gives Loáisiga a considerable advantage upon his return. Luckily, the Yankees currently boast the best bullpen ERA in baseball at 2.82, which includes 25 saves, a 1.18 WHIP, and 327 strikeouts.
Moving forward, the Yankees may rely more heavily on Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle, with a 0.00 ERA, has been excellent since returning from his biceps tendinitis. His performance could help offset the loss of Cordero in the bullpen.