Is Jhony Brito on his way to becoming a top starter after a dominant second outing?

Jhony Brito smiles in Yankees dugout after his excellent second start in Baltimore on April 8, 2023.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn’t take long to notice Jhony Brito once he arrived in Tampa. Even though the rookie pitcher was not a top prospect for the Yankees, his early bullpen appearances impressed the manager and his team. As Boone stood behind the mound and watched the right-hander throw, he told the Yankees pitching coaches, who were nearby, that Jhony Brito was going to help them in the regular season.

Now that the regular season has started, Jhony Brito is doing exactly that. Due to injuries, the 25-year-old was put into the Yankees’ rotation before he was ready. However, since ending his camp with 5.1 perfect innings, Jhony Brito has pitched well beyond his years. His short career, which has two excellent starts, leads many to see him blossoming as a top starting pitcher for the Yankees, especially after his second dominant outing in the major leagues.

On April 2, Jhony Brito’s first start in the major leagues was against the Giants and he helped the Yankees win 6-0. On April 8, he beat the Orioles at Camden Yards, which powered the Yankees to a 4-1 victory.

Jhony Brito allowed just one run on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in five innings of work despite having trouble controlling his fastball for the majority of the game. In his first two major league starts, the righty has gone five or more innings both times while allowing one run or fewer and three hits or fewer.

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Jhony Brito’s magic shattered the Orioles

The Orioles just got one run off the rookie, which Jhony Brito unwittingly helped with. After a single by Cedric Mullins, the pitcher deflected a comebacker by Adley Rutschman, putting runners on the corners. The ball was subsequently hoisted to right field by Anthony Santander. Mullins scored on the sac fly after Oswaldo Cabrera caught it for an out. That was Jhony Brito’s first earned run in the major leagues, but it was the only one he allowed in the game.

“He never gives in and he doesn’t ever get flustered,” Boone said. “It’s a great attribute to have.”

Jhony Brito pitched five innings, allowing just three hits against the Orioles. During 92 pitches, he also walked two and struck out two. He currently has a 0.90 ERA in his big-league debut.

“This is a dream, from ever since I was a little kid,” Jhony Brito said. “I just wanted to prove to the staff that I could pitch.”

Jhony Brito, despite being young, can carry the Yankees’ hopes on his shoulders. He had to deal with three injuries before he could get into the rotation and another one before he could get back to the big leagues. The Yankees had sent him to the minor league after his first big day. But his on-mound performance in the second game makes a case for why he shouldn’t leave again.

Brito is going to stay in the Yankees rotation

The 25-year-old pitcher was great for the second time in his career when the Yankees were in desperation to level the series against the Orioles and recalled him with high hopes. Jhony Brito carried those expectations well on his young shoulders and made a strong case to stay with the big league team.

In his first game last Sunday, he gave up two hits and no runs while beating the Giants. Jhony Brito allowed three hits and two walks, which led to one run. His earned run average (ERA) is now 0.90.

Jhony Brito wasn’t at his best on Saturday. He only got strikes with 56 of his 92 pitches, but he was able to find his spots when it mattered.

“He made a lot of big pitches when he needed to,” said manager Aaron Boone admitting that his performance makes a strong case before the Yankees to keep him in the rotation.

The Yankees were only able to bring back Jhony Brito early Saturday because third baseman Josh Donaldson got hurt. This meant that Brito could be added to the roster even though he hadn’t spent the required 15 days in the minors after being optioned off to Triple-A RailRiders.

Brito exploits his chances well

The only reason Jhony Brito got into the rotation in the first place was that Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas were hurt. But after his two starts, he is no more a replacement but a reliable asset for the Yankees.

Jhony Brito, who is supposed to be the fifth starter, has kept up his good work and, after two starts, is pitching better than Clarke Schmidt. On Saturday, the Orioles played him to a run but the starter kept them silent thereafter shattering any of their hopes for a series win.

“This is a dream ever since I was a little kid,” Brito said through interpreter Marlon Abreu. “To me and to the staff, I just wanted to prove that I could pitch.”

Jhony Brito pressed on when necessary. His greatest moment occurred in the fifth inning when Ramon Urias led out with a single and Brito fell behind Terrin Vavra, 3-0. But he battled back and struck out after a 10-pitch at-bat with maybe his finest changeup of the night.

He then got Mullins to ground out and struck out Rutschman. Jhony Brito banged his glove as he walked away from the mound.

“He’s not been fazed by anything so far,” Boone said.

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