June 21, 2024

As the Yankees explore options to bolster their bullpen, it appears they are leaning towards internal solutions. According to Jack Curry on Hot Stove, the team has been in talks with both Keynan Middleton and Wandy Peralta regarding a potential reunion. While there have been reports of the Yankees expressing interest in Houston Astros’ reliever Hector Neris, Curry cast doubt on the likelihood of an agreement between the two parties.

Despite the Yankees having one of the top bullpens in baseball, leading in ERA with 3.34, there is speculation about the return of a familiar face to reinforce their bullpen.

During the recent trade deadline, the Yankees maintained a relatively quiet stance, with Keynan Middleton being one of the notable additions to their MLB roster. Acquiring Middleton from the White Sox by sending RHP Juan Carela, the Yankees secured a reliever with impressive swing-and-miss capabilities. However, Middleton faced challenges against right-handed batters due to pitch selection issues. Upon joining the Yankees, he showcased remarkable performance, boasting a 1.88 ERA and a 30.4% strikeout rate across 14.1 innings. His success included impressive whiff rates and notable groundball rates.

Notably, Middleton achieved a 71.1% groundball rate with the Yankees, attributed to an increased usage of his slider. His proficiency in inducing swings-and-misses is a compelling aspect, with all three of his pitches boasting a Whiff Rate above 30%. The Yankees value his contributions, and his energetic presence on the mound aligns with the team’s clubhouse culture in recent seasons. While the market demand for him remains uncertain, the Yankees may consider adding another left-handed reliever to their roster.

Wandy Peralta has earned favor among Bronx Bombers fans for good reason. Since joining the team from the San Francisco Giants, he has not only performed well with a 2.82 ERA but has also emerged as one of the most clutch relievers on the roster. The 32-year-old left-hander has demonstrated an ability to excel in crucial moments, supported by robust groundball rates and a capacity to vary his tempo to confound opposing batters.

While Peralta faced challenges with home runs and walks in 2023, resulting in a 5.05 FIP despite his 2.83 ERA, the Yankees may believe he can make the necessary adjustments to regain control. The team’s track record of extracting value from their bullpen, coupled with their familiarity with the left-hander, strengthens the likelihood of a reunion. Although the New York Mets have also expressed interest in Peralta, the Yankees’ need for a left-handed reliever could sway them towards bringing him back.

With a few weeks remaining before pitchers and catchers report, the Yankees are in the process of deciding their bullpen additions. The recent acquisition of Marcus Stroman suggests a focus on bullpen upgrades for the team.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *