The Yankees’ Fireballing Reliever is Making Progress, Which could Help Them Later in the Season

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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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The Yankees are getting more and more optimistic that Stephen Ridings can still help them this season.

It has been reported by the team’s pitching coach that the 6-foot-8 fireballing reliever has been healthy and throwing bullpen sessions at Cressey Sports Performance in Jupiter, Florida, with an eye toward reporting to the team’s player development complex in Tampa and participating in minor-league rehab games with the goal of returning to the majors.

“It’s been really encouraging,” Blake said before Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Ridings has been cruising at 92-95 mph, and he’s still picking up speed as he makes up for lost time after an unusual injury list stint. On April 6, the Yankees placed him on the 60-day injured list due to right shoulder impingement syndrome. However, it appears that the injury has been more complicated than initially thought.

In August of 2021, Ridings, then 26 years old, impressed the Yankees with his 100 mph fastball in five major league appearances. He made four appearances where he didn’t allow a run.

Ridings had a 1.24 ERA with 13 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.8 walks last year between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

This year, he sat out of the spring training rotation.

The Yankees would also benefit from the returns of Zack Britton (Tommy John surgery) and Miguel Castro (shoulder strain) to their bullpen before the postseason begins.

Because he is a reliever with minor-league options remaining, the Yankees would have more roster flexibility if they acquired Ridings.

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