The New York Yankees Luis Cessa is a seldom talked about Yankee pitcher, but his relief is indispensable when the starting pitcher fails to perform. Over the last six years, he has been the Yankees’ go-to middle reliever. This season he is turning some heads. In four games, he has an ERA of .000 and is striking out 15.4 hitters per nine innings pitched. That is nearly double his best performance in 2019.
Before the beginning of spring training, he signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees to pay him just over a million dollars this season. He will be a free agent in 2024. For those that don’t know much about the multi-lingual reliever, here is a look at his life and how he got to the Yankees.
Luis Cessa was born Luis Enrique Cessa and was born on April 25, 1992, in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico. He is an American citizen and speaks English as his second language.
Cessa, in his native Cordoba, played baseball as a boy in the sandlots around his neighborhood. He continued to play ball for his high school team. He played at shortstop but transitioned to pitching in his high school years, where he was often the best pitcher on the team. Cessa was scouted and agreed on a contract with the New York Mets as an international free agent in July 2008. In 2009, He made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Mets, where he again played as a shortstop for the first two seasons, transitioning into a pitcher in 2011.
In the summer of 2015, Cessa was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He was added to the Tigers 40 man roster after the 2015 season. But in the offseason, he was traded to the New York Yankees along with pitcher Chad Green. In 2016, Cessa was named to the Yankees’ Opening Day roster in 2016. On April 8, 2016, he made his debut for the Yankees against his former Detroit Tigers.
Cessa spent the majority of 2016 at the minor league affiliate Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Raiders. But on June 26, the Yankees called Cessa up from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and on June 29, He had his first major league win, pitching three innings of 1-run relief.
In 2017 while bouncing back and forth from the Rail Riders to the Yankees, he played in 10 games in middle relief. In 2018 that increased to 18 games. Although not the best pitcher, Cessa was making a name for himself as a New York Yankee middle reliever. He spent 2019 at the Stadium. He was mostly used as a middle reliever in 43 games, although he did save one game. In one of his wins last year, he struck out seven in three and two-thirds innings.
During the 2019 ALDS against the Minnesota Twins and in the ALCS against the Houston Astros, the 28-year-old Cessa pitched four scoreless innings in relief. This year with the Yankees watching the starting pitcher innings adjust to a 162 game season, middle relief will be an integral part of the Yankee plan.
Cessa is not only a reliable pitcher to eat up innings when the starter fails to perform but has regularly been used when there is an opener instead of a starter. The combination of Chad Green and Cessa had been beneficial to the New York Yankees in those games.
Luis Cessa has a warm personality that has caused him to be well accepted by all the Yankee players, and he is considered a valuable teammate in the bullpen. The affable Cessa has a main squeeze in Nancy Arreola, a media personality for TV Azteca in Mexico. They have been going together for several years, and their bond is strong. She even has a photo of them together as the header on her Twitter page.