The New York Yankees have been struggling in the pitching department the past few weeks, ever since Michael King suffered a fractured right elbow. The bullpen has lacked consistency despite trading for Scott Effross, formally of the Chicago Cubs, and acquiring Lou Trivino in the trade that brought Frankie Montas from Oakland to New York.
General manager Brian Cashman wasn’t done making a few minor moves after the deadline, acquiring right-handed relief pitcher Joey Gerber as a free agent. Gerber was assigned to the Yankees complex in Florida, getting a bit of action and hopefully finding a home with a minor-league affiliate.
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A look at what Joey Gerber is bringing to the Yankees:
At 25 years old, Gerber last made an MLB appearance for the Seattle Mariners back in 2020. He pitched 15.2 innings, hosting a 4.02 ERA with a 62.5% left on base rate and 42% ground ball rate.
Based on his incredibly small sample size and lack of production, I doubt we see Gerber don the pinstripes at the big league level this season unless injuries slaughter the bullpen.
Looking at his specific pitch sequence, Gerber utilizes a sinker, slider, and 4-seam fastball. During 2020, opposing batters hit .211 off his sinker with a 22.2% whiff rate and 22.2% put-away rate. He generated four strikeouts over 19 at bats using his sinker.
It is well documented that pitching coach Matt Blake prefers bullpen arms that have good sinkers, which is why it’s no surprise that Gerber signed a minor contract with the Yankees.