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Breaking down the final rotation candidates for the New York Yankees

Luis Cessa

Following his major league debut on April 8, 2016, and settling in a rotation spot by August 20, Cessa showed encouragement but didn’t necessarily impress down the stretch.

In nine starts, the 24-year old right-hander pitched to a 4.01 ERA and only struck out 35 batters in 51.2 innings. He also gave up 11 home runs, but with a slider that usually induces a terrific number of groundballs (rate of 64.15 groundballs per BIP), he may be able to clean that number up in the future.

One aspect that Cessa has that impresses, is his ability to touch 95 m.p.h. with his fastball on a regular basis and compliment it with a changeup, curveball and slider.

With that mix, in ’16, batters hit .256 off his fastball, .217 off his change, .217 off his slider and .364 off his curveball — a pitch Cessa used merely 11.13 percent of the time — in his nine starts.

Overall, the shortstop-turned-pitcher has a strong arm, a good sinking fastball with excellent command and control.

Cessa’s secondary pitches aren’t at the level of his fastball yet as, when he misses, he misses big and he misses over the plate. He profiles best as a spot starter or a long relief role, similarly to pretty much all the other contestants for the Yankees’ rotation.