Yankees will include exciting power arm on their Opening Day roster

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts

Nick Burdi was one of the most interesting names the Yankees invited to Spring Training, as the hard-throwing reliever opened up plenty of eyes with his overpowering arsenal. Hitting 100 MPH on his fastball multiple times, Burdi was one of their most impressive relievers in camp, and it seemed like a no-brainer that he would make the team. The Yankees have now finalized their Opening Day bullpen, and while things are subject to change if any trades or signings are made, the bullpen is in place for their first series of the season.

The Yankees will travel to Houston for Opening Day on March 28th against the Houston Astros, and Nick Burdi will be among those headed to Texas.

Nick Burdi Makes the Final Cut and Will Join the Yankees in Houston

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees

The Yankees have had a lot of difficult choices to make in Spring Training, but this is not one of them, as Nick Burdi was one of their most impressive arms in camp. Burdi, whom the Yankees signed to a Minor League free-agent deal this past winter, was dominant in his seven appearances, striking out 13 batters to four walks in his seven innings of work. His high groundball rate and excellent stuff made him a shoo-in to make the team, and there are high hopes about what he can do if his health and command are consistent this season.

Nick Burdi has undergone two Tommy John Surgeries in his professional career, and the right-hander has battled arm complications for years, and he’s overcome a lot to get to this point. He spent last season with the Chicago Cubs, where he struggled in his small sample size of work, as he has throughout his entire MLB career. Strikeouts have never been an issue for Burdi, who lives in the upper 90s with plenty of movement and an arm slot that creates a lot of issues for opposing hitters, as his fastball has a flat approach angle with plenty of movement.

His most impressive pitch is arguably his sweeper, as he throws it in the upper 80s while averaging over 14 inches of movement to the glove-side. The ability to fire high-velocity pitches that generate a lot of spin and movement makes him difficult to barrel up or decipher, and he could be the Yankees’ next success story out of the bullpen. Since he’s not on the 40-man roster, a corresponding move has to be made, and there are multiple routes they could take to do that.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
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Gerrit Cole will likely be placed on the 60-day IL as he needs to recover from the nerve inflammation in his elbow, which should take about two months. He’s in the middle of a shutdown from throwing right now, as the Yankees are hoping to see progress on that nerve as to avoid a potential surgery. As for other moves they could make, Oswald Peraza could also be placed on the 60-day IL due to his shoulder injury, as he’ll be shut down for at least another month or two, and that doesn’t factor in the time he’ll need to ramp up as well.

Ben Rortvedt could also be waived or traded, as could players like Jahmai Jones or McKinley Moore, who has yet to appear in a Spring Training game. How the Yankees choose to handle this remains to be seen, but with Clayton Beeter and Nick Burdi in their bullpen, their reliever group is set for the first series of the year.

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