After a solid year, 25-year old Dietrich Enns could help bring stability to a questionable New York Yankees rotation.
With no major moves made just yet, one can assume 2017 can be taken just as the second half of last season was: seeing what the Baby Bombers have in store.
However, that doesn’t mean some red-hot youngsters like 25-year old Dietrich Enns could make an impact that could perhaps balance New York’s most significant question mark.
Behind Masahiro Tanaka, who maintained the third best ERA in the AL, CC Sabathia,who’s coming off his best season since 2012, and Michael Pineda who was the AL Leader in strikeouts per nine innings, the Yankees have either unproven or dubious arms competing with each other for the last two spots.
Disclaimer: one could also assert that Pineda — who is one of six players in MLB history to strikeout more than 200 but to manage an ERA over 4.80 — is extremely unproven as well.
Competing for a place in 2017’s rotation is Luis Severino, who has to earn his way back after posting an 8.50 ERA in his sophomore year as a starter, Cessa, who allowed 11 home runs in nine starts, Green, who was shut down due to an elbow issue, and Bryan Mitchell, who has only made five major league starts.
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So, after just being added to the 40-man roster, Enns, who was utterly impossible to hit a year ago while in Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, should have a terrific shot to make an impression and possibly earn a spot in this year’s rotation.
In 26 games between the two levels (22 starts), Enns posted a 14-4 record with a 1.73 ERA and racked up 124 strikeouts in 135 innings of work.
What was impressive about his year was that Enns pitched even better in Triple-A, which is notably encouraging. He posted a 1.93 ERA in Trenton, but that dropped to 1.52 in Scranton and while the opposition’s home run rates stayed the same transversely through both levels, he actually gave up fewer hits in Triple-A (1.12 WHIP).
The numbers may speak for itself but control is a striking concern for the southpaw and his stuff is the kind that customarily doesn’t translate to major league success.
His fastball sits at an insignificant 87-92 miles an hour and since his margin for error is so narrow, his career walk rate is 3.6 BB/9 which is a slight red flag moving forward.
Now, 2016 was his first full season back from Tommy John surgery — a major reason why he did not receive a much-deserved September call-up — and, as expected, the Yankees are going to keep a close eye on his development throughout his second season removed from operation.
Realistically, he’ll more than likely not make the team out of Tampa but should get a long look during spring training and be used to help the big league club throughout 2017.
Enns could do exactly what Green and Cessa did a year ago. Come up to fill spots when injuries (Nathan Eovaldi) or struggles (Severino) pop up throughout the year.
Judging his professional approach, he may be the closest hurler to the major leagues as James Kaprielian, Jordan Montgomery and Justus Sheffield (not on 40-man) are right behind him but have some more time to go.
What do you think, fans? Are you looking forward to possibly seeing Dietrich Enns in the Bronx as soon as this upcoming season? Is there any other youngster that could impact the rotation in a positive way? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.