Okay, I know I can’t be the only person who would always roll my eyes when I heard New York Yankees announcers say, “Luis Cessa is warming up”. Cessa has just been one of those guys who has stuck around and nobody really knew why. Occasionally he would be solid when he pitched, but other times he looked like a guy who was way out of his element. However, maybe the Yankees have learned a valuable lesson when it comes to Luis Cessa. For the last few years, Cessa has bounced between being a long-reliever and a spot starter for the Yankees. Doing neither with a high level of success. Again, he would show flashes, but most of the time the results were not ideal. Last year, there was a moment where I think I saw the real potential of Luis Cessa. The two games he pitched in relief against the Astros in the ALCS really showed me a lot. Cessa was able to pitch four shutout innings against one of the best lineups in baseball and he did it on the biggest stage. Cessa looked very comfortable, and pitching in a two-inning outing seemed perfect for Cessa. Do you notice how Cessa’s name hasn’t really been mentioned when it comes to the fifth spot in the Yankees injury-plagued rotation? I think the Yankees know where Luis Cessa’s best spot is for the 2020 season.
In 2020, the ability to get guys out on both sides of the plate will be extremely important especially with this new three batter rule for relievers. Cessa mainly throws three pitches that can get guys out on both sides of the plate. When on, he shows a plus slider along with a very good changeup. Cessa has also shown good command with his fastball. This three-pitch mix will help Cessa be a weapon for the Yankees out of the bullpen this year. Cessa will be a guy that can stretch it out if needed for the Yankees as well. If they need a guy to come in during the fourth inning to keep the game close, Cessa can be that guy. A good thing for Cessa is he will not have as much pressure on him as the other guys in the pen. Nobody is expecting Luis Cessa to be the best bullpen arm the New York Yankees have. That’s an advantage for Cessa. The Yankees can throw him in early in a game or he can come in late when one of the top tier guys needs the night off. If the latter scenario occurs, Cessa has the stuff to be successful in a late-inning role. 2020 is the year for Luis Cessa. He no longer has any minor league options so he’s either going to be a key piece for the Yankees for the 2020 campaign, or he’s going to find his way out the door. I tend to think we are going to see some good things from Mr. Cessa in 2020.