Projecting the 2017 New York Yankees Opening Day roster

ESNY’s Projected Bullpen

If you’re aware of the Scranton Shuttle, you’ll defend the note that this assembly will change regularly throughout the season.

Richard Bleier, Ben HellerJonathan Holder and others will see some time out of the ‘pen before even considering possible injuries. 

Nonetheless, this is perhaps the strong suit for this team as there are very few question marks — especially towards the back end.

Their closer, Aroldis Chapman, struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings with the Yankees before being traded to Chicago in 2016 and owns the most strikeouts (617) among major league baseball relievers since 2011.

Betances, who will retreat back to his role as a setup man, owns a 1.93 ERA with 14.3 strikeouts per nine since 2014 while also limiting batters to a .186 batting average, the lowest among qualified relievers.

These two will not only be a shut-down duo for this upcoming season, but they’ll be a feared setup-closer combination until at least 2020 — when New York will be in prime World Series contention.

Following them is Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, lefty specialist Tommy Layne and a long reliever in Bryan Mitchell.

Clippard improved his ERA from 4.30 to 2.49 after being acquired from Arizona and was possibly the team’s most steady relief pitcher following the trade deadline in 2016.

The former Yankees’ draft pick also got the biggest outs in unfavorable situations while generating the highest whiff rate on his splitter (18.92) of his career and hadn’t looked that stable since his 2014 All-Star campaign with the Nationals.

In the first half, with a ‘pen that included Chapman, Betances and Andrew Miller, Yankees’ relievers maintained a 3.78 ERA while surrendering 37 home runs.

After dealing both Miller and Chapman, the ‘pen surrendered seven fewer home runs while lowering the unit’s ERA to 3.56.

Throw Chapman back into the mix with a much better middle relief squad, they can better accommodate a questionable rotation — the biggest problem with “No-Runs DMC.”

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