I know I’m a little late to the party but I am always well aware of what is going on in the baseball world. What I ask is that you do not doubt me. On January 17th the New York Yankees signed reliever Adam Ottavino to a 3 year $27 million contract to solidify an already dominate bullpen.
I hate to admit when the Yankees do something well. The bullpen they have assembled is as dominate as they come. People thought the Astros had a great bullpen these last couple years, which they did, but it is nothing like what the Yankees have brought to the baseball world. The only thing that comes to mind when I think of the Yankees is fuck the Yankees. Can’t stand em. Them and the Rays have the most intense rivalry in baseball right now so I’m kind of obligated to hate them. Let’s get into the Yankees bullpen for the 2019 season.
Aroldis Chapman: 2018 stats- 51.1 IN, 2.45 ERA, 1.052 WHIP, 93 K’S, 32 Saves- The only thing I didn’t include was his walks, which were 30, so yes he’s not perfect. Chapman, fellow teammate Zach Britton and Andrew Miller have been the best lefty relievers for the past 4-5 years but Chapman has been doing it since 2010 which gives him a bit of authority over Miller in my opinion. Although he is yet to break 40 saves in a season, he had 38 twice with the Reds in 2012-2013, this could be the year the Yankees give him the opportunity to reach that milestone.
Dellin Betances: 2018 stats- 66.2 IN, 2.70 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 115 K’S, 15.5 K/9- Betances would be a closer on just about any other team in baseball, yet the Yankees seem happy with him setting up for the closer. 2014 they chose David Robertson, 2015 was Andrew Miller and from 2016 until now Aroldis Chapman has been the closer other than that half a season he was with the World Series winning Chicago Cubs. That hasn’t stopped Betances as he holds a career 2.36 career ERA through 381 innings pitched while also having a SO/9 of over 15.0 the past three seasons. That includes having over 100 strikeouts a season since becoming a full time reliever in 2014. On a one year deal through 2019, Betances might finally get his chance at closing when he hits the market in 2020. But first, it’s worrying about dominating again in 2019.
Zach Britton: 2018 stats- 40.2 IN, 3.10 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, 34 K’S- Britton has been one of baseballs best relievers since converting to a reliever role permanently in 2014. Since 2014, Britton has held a 2.02 ERA while having one of the best seasons in baseball history as a reliever in 2016 when he had a .54 ERA, .83 WHIP, leading the league with 47 saves and allowing one lonely home run that season. Britton had Achilles surgery in 2017 after tearing it during an off-season workout and decided to trade him to none other than the Yankees mid-way through the 2018 season. The Yankees obviously took advantage with being able to negotiate with Britton exclusively after the 2018 season and quickly locked him up to a three year deal for $39 million. With Betances and Britton, double B’S, most likely being the late inning guys, other teams better jump on the Yankees early or hope for an off night by either of them.
Chad Green: 2018 stats- 8-3 record, 75.2 IN, 2.50 ERA, 1.044 WHIP, 94 K’s, 11.2 K/9- Green has been an inaugural part of the Yankees pen since he switched over after only making one start in 2017 when he ended the year with an ERA of 1.85 along with a WHIP of .739 that also came with a dominant 103 K’s through a beautiful 69 innings. As you can see Green is their middle/long relief option and is probably the best long relief pitcher in baseball. The Yankees have really struck gold with Green being able to convert so successfully to a role he most likely has never have to do in his professional career. Always with great stuff, Green finally got his chance to shine as a starter in 2016 and posted mediocre numbers but showing he had great stuff by striking out 52 through 45.2 innings. Green will once again be asked to perform in the same role he was asked to be in 2017 and 2018. Being one of baseballs best bridges to the 7-8-9 innings relievers, Green is most likely going to have another dominate and most likely underrated seasons in baseball.
Jonathan Holder: 2018 stats- 66 IN, 3.14 ERA, 1.091 WHIP, 60 K’s, 19 BB- If you’re a REAL Yankee/baseball fan, you know who Jonathan Holder is. Holder is an unsung hero and the most unknown name for the 2018 Yankees bullpen. Holder was a starter up until Triple-A in 2015 before converting to a full time reliever in 2016. Holder let up only four home runs in the 2018 season showing that his stuff is legit. Holder should be able to replicate his numbers from 2018 and could possibly be in for a bigger role given an injury to the bullpen staff.
Adam Ottavino: 2018 stats- 6-4 record, 77.2 IN, 2.43 ERA, .991 WHIP, 112 K’s, 13.0 K/9- Ottavino was one of baseballs best set-up pitchers last season for the Colorado Rockies and if not for the Rockies wasting money on Wade Davis, $54 million to be exact, Ottavino would have made even MORE money this season being classified as a closer. Ottavino wanted to be back in New York, where he was born and spent his childhood and high school years, and got the chance of a life time joining one of the best bullpens ever assembled in recent memory. Ottavino had a K/9 of 13.0 last season and also held batters to an ugly average of .158. With all the weapons the Yankees have in this bullpen, every night we should see a different 6-7-8 inning pitchers most likely to give it to the hot hand at the moment. Look for Ottavino to repeat those numbers in 2019.
Thanks to ESPN, I stumbled upon a fact I did not know about. The 2018 New York Yankees were the first team in MLB history to strike out over 30% of their batters faced with an MLB record of 30.2. With Ottavino added to the mix, we’re looking at another potentially historic year for the scary Yankees Yullpen. I hate the Yankees. I really fucking hate them. But also being a realist in this world, I know that with that bullpen the Yankees have to be one of the most feared clubs in all of 2019 and if they make it to the playoffs, they will be even scarier. With teams changing up how they look at pitching in this day and age, the Yankees will be a team no one in baseball wants to face. Go Rays and Braves.