Yankees bullpen finds its missing piece as Clay Holmes injects vitality

Clay Holmes has emerged as a key piece of the Yankees bullpen.

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The Yankees bullpen has held opposing batters to a remarkable .213 batting average, which stands as the lowest in the league. Among the Yankees’ bullpen, Clay Holmes has notably resurfaced as the pivotal component.

Following a challenging start to the season, which followed worrisome difficulties toward the end of the previous season, Clay Holmes has displayed a resurgence in recent weeks, resembling the dominant closer he was during the first half of last year.

In his past 22 appearances, Clay Holmes has surrendered a mere two runs, while recording an impressive 28 strikeouts in 22 ¹/₃ innings on the mound. Above all, his signature pitch, the sinker, has regained its previous effectiveness.

The Yankees bullpen emerging from the shadow

The focus and attention in the Yankees’ clubhouse are primarily directed toward Aaron Judge‘s locker, situated in the far left corner. With lingering uncertainty surrounding his return from a sprained right toe, it remains the center of daily intrigue.

Equally commanding attention is the lockers of Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton, positioned on either side of Aaron Judge’s locker in the back. As acknowledged stars and leaders of the team, their presence draws significant focus as well.

However, it is the closely bonded collective on the opposite side of the room, situated at the front on the right-hand side, that has emerged as the fundamental support system for the team during the initial phases of the season. Not surprisingly, their lockers are conveniently positioned side by side. Among the occupants of those lockers are Clay Holmes, Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Ron Marinaccio, and several other key members of the Yankees’ formidable bullpen.

Clay Holmes claims that the Yankees bullpen members have the capability to pitch effectively in any given situation. According to him, the group is filled with confidence and relies on each other for support and assistance. They understand the importance of staying prepared and being ready for their respective matchups. The bullpen takes pride in their roles and responsibilities, and even when they are not called upon, they have complete trust in their fellow teammates, boasts Clay Holmes.

Yankees pitcher Clay Holmes with pitching coach Matt Blake.
yankees nation/ insta

Clay Holmes and co remain the Yankees’ best bet

Entering Monday, the Yankees bullpen boasts an impressive collective ERA of 2.85, which currently stands as the top mark in all of Major League Baseball. The Yankees bullpen has held opposing batters to a remarkable .213 batting average, which stands as the lowest in the league.

Despite a struggling offense that has faced challenges in the absence of Judge, the Yankees managed to achieve a 4-2 record during their recent homestand. Surprisingly, they were able to secure four victories despite scoring a mere 13 runs in those games.

In the four wins, the Yankees’ bullpen pitchers delivered an impressive performance, throwing for a total of 12 ¹/₃ innings and allowing a mere two runs.

Cole was expected to provide some relief to the bullpen on Sunday by pitching deep into the game, especially since Holmes, Peralta, and Tommy Kahnle were not available. However, he had his shortest performance in more than a year, pitching only 4 ²/₃ innings. Yet, even in the absence of their primary choices, the Yankees’ bullpen once again stepped up to secure the victory. The quartet of King, Marinaccio, Ramirez, and Cordero joined forces to deliver 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings on the mound.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Relievers bouncing back with confidence

Clay Holmes acknowledged that he had a successful period last year, stating that it could serve as a reference for his optimal performance. However, he emphasized that he is more focused on recognizing the parameters within his mechanics that indicate his best form. Currently, Clay Holmes feels like he is in that zone and approaches each outing with a mindset of taking things step by step and staying diligent.

Marinaccio talked about the value of their bullpen’s versatility and mindset in his conversation with the New York Post. He highlighted the fearlessness of the pitchers in handling any situation. The diverse repertoire and pitching styles they bring to the mound provide a unique challenge for opposing lineups. Marinaccio emphasized that each bullpen member offers a different look, preventing the opposition from settling into a comfortable rhythm when they enter the game.

During a challenging period, Michael King has been making adjustments to his mechanics while also attempting to avoid becoming overly fixated on them. The talented right-handed pitcher had conceded six runs in his last three innings, prompting him to fine-tune his approach.

That’s precisely why the Yankees found Sunday’s one-inning save by Michael King so promising. In that outing, he surrendered only a single hit and managed to strike out two batters, showcasing his improved performance and providing a boost of confidence for the team.

Boone noted that as King’s outing progressed on Sunday, he observed improvement. He mentioned seeing increased liveliness in King’s pitches and acknowledged his use of a variety of pitches, including the sinker and four-seamer. Boone specifically highlighted King’s effective execution of the backdoor two-seamer on multiple occasions and his successful incorporation of the slider. He also emphasized the significance of King’s 3-2 changeup to Marcus Semien as a pivotal moment to start off the inning.

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One thought on “Yankees bullpen finds its missing piece as Clay Holmes injects vitality

  1. The pen has proven mightier than the sword. The Yankees bullpen is this club’s biggest strength.

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