The New York Yankees are off to a thundering start. Currently 22-8, they own MLB’s best record, have lost only one series and recently ran off an 11-game winning streak. New York’s performance is all the more impressive considering they play in a stiff American League East.
For the better part of the last two years, the Yankees’ identity has been power hitting and Gerrit Cole. That identity remains unchanged, but there’s a new ingredient to their success: bullpen excellence.
Here’s how the Yankees’ bullpen is adding a new dimension to their club.
New York Yankees’ bullpen has been elite
Last season, the Yankees’ starting rotation made considerable leaps. This season, it’s their bullpen that’s transforming into a high-caliber unit. Furthermore, it’s winning them games. Manager Aaron Boone is getting quality, efficient innings from his relievers.
Clay Holmes, who was on the Pittsburgh Pirates one year ago, has been the Yankees’ best reliever. He’s keeping runners off the basepaths, painting the strike zone with his sinker and slider and has surrendered one run across 16.1 innings. Acquired from the New York Mets in the MLB offseason, Miguel Castro has been spectacular for the Yankees. He’s working out of trouble, finding success with three offerings (slider, sinker and changeup) and keeping the score down.
Michael King has been a godsend. The right-hander has served as a bridge to the late innings and occasionally an emergency closer. He’s providing depth and posting strikeouts at a high rate. Prior to being sent down to Triple-A, Clarke Schmidt too was providing length. Closer Aroldis Chapman has made matters interesting in the ninth but shut the door more often than not thus far.
- New York Yankees’ bullpen stats entering May 11 (2022): 2.38 ERA (first), 0.40 HR/9 (first), 9.77 K/9 (seventh) and 3.81 BB/9 (21st)
Wandy Peralta picked up where he left off last season, inducing weak contact and jamming left-handed hitters. Chad Green has proven to be a stable long reliever and occasional late-inning option. Southpaw Lucas Luetge has had his moments.