Yankees bullpen makes remarkable turnaround: Uncovering key elements behind the resurgence

Yankees bullpen in 2023

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The Yankees had an impressive record of 6 wins and 1 loss on their recent seven-game road trip, which greatly contributed to their resurgence after a torrid April. What made it even more remarkable was the remarkable rebounding of the Yankees bullpen. The offense received significant support from their relief pitchers while blasting through the opponents at their homes.

While taking its first day off on Monday since May 4, the Yankees bullpen found itself in a favorable position. They boasted the lowest earned run average (ERA) in the entire game, standing at an impressive 2.87.

Yankees bullpen turned out incredibly good

During their recent trip, the Yankees bullpen performed exceptionally well with a remarkable 1.34 ERA. They were particularly impressive during a three-game sweep of the Reds, where they pitched a total of 14 ⅓ scoreless innings. It’s worth noting that lesser-known pitchers like Albert Abreu, Ryan Weber, and Jimmy Cordero played a crucial role in the team’s success.

Together, these three pitchers combined for 12 ²/₃ scoreless innings throughout the trip. Notably, Jimmy Cordero even stepped up as an opener for Jhony Brito, pitching two innings without allowing any runs. Their outstanding performances resulted in two wins, five holds, and a save, significantly lightening the workload for the bullpen, which had been under strain.

The New York Yankees employed reliever Jimmy Cordero as an opener on May 15, 2023, against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
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Manager Aaron Boone praised the team on Sunday, giving credit to the players who had stepped up in various roles. He acknowledged that the coaching staff had tried to place them in positions that would maximize their chances of success. However, Boone emphasized that it ultimately depended on the players’ ability to go out on the field and perform effectively.

According to Boone, almost every player in the bullpen had experienced crucial moments and high-pressure situations. He acknowledged that, more often than not, they had been able to rise to the occasion and deliver positive results.

Yankees bullpen is not yet full strength

During the trip, Ian Hamilton suffered a groin strain, causing him to be placed on the injured list. Unfortunately, this injury is anticipated to sideline him for an additional three weeks.

Tommy Kahnle is currently dealing with biceps tendinitis, which means he still needs to wait for one more week before he is eligible to return and be activated off the injured list. Jonathan Loaisiga, who pitched for a short duration of 3 ¹/₃ innings, will be sidelined until at least August due to elbow surgery to remove a bone spur.

Despite these setbacks, the Yankees currently have the lowest bullpen ERA in baseball as of May 22. They have managed to achieve this impressive feat despite shouldering a significant workload. In fact, their relief pitchers have pitched a total of 191 innings, which is the second-highest in Major League Baseball, with only the Rays having pitched more.

Throughout the seven-game trip, there were five instances where the Yankees had save opportunities. Interestingly, each of these opportunities was successfully converted by a different reliever. The entire bullpen played a part in securing these saves.

ryan-weber-ny-yankees
AP

The performance of Yankees bullpen

Out of the seven games on the trip, the Yankees only had one loss, which ended in a scoreless tie after nine innings. In another game where a save opportunity wasn’t present, the Yankees were leading with a score of 3-2. However, in the top of the ninth inning, they scored three more runs, leading them to assign Nick Ramirez to close out the game instead of Clay Holmes.

Luis Severino said it was amazing, stating that the bullpen’s performance had been incredible. He acknowledged that it wasn’t just the star players who were excelling but also every member of the bullpen. According to Severino, whenever they were called upon, they stepped up and successfully fulfilled their responsibilities.

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