Like it or not, the relationship between Luis Cessa and the New York Yankees is destined to continue into 2019.
When you look at this year’s New York Yankees Opening Day roster, you might see the usual suspects: Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez.
When you scour the rest of the list, another name will pop up. That name will be Luis Cessa and it will cause an uproar over Yankees Twitter.
That’s right, the prodigal son has returned!
Luis Cessa has dedicated three years of service time to the Yankees and now the clock is running out. It’s now Bronx or bust for the 26-year-old righty in a rotation that has all but been cemented.
If anything has been made clear over the past few years, it’s the Yankees hold a special spot in their heart for Cessa, regardless of his performance through the last three years. It seems every time he implodes on the mound and we think it’s over, Cessa’s name comes right back in the conversation.
Cessa’s time in pinstripes hasn’t exactly been stellar by any means. In fact, his best year was probably his first season in 2016. Ever since then, his numbers were all over the place.
With a 4-4 record and 4.35 ERA in 2016, Cessa pitched in 17 games, primarily from a starting role. But Cessa continued to be the top passenger on the Scranton Shuttle, a clear favorite to fill in last-minute roles.
Luis Cessa certainly has shown that he’s not the next Max Scherzer by any means. He doesn’t have the makings to be a top-tier starter. Yet the Yankees still keep him around.
And so far this spring, he’s made an impression on Aaron Boone and the rest of the Yankees.
Luis Cessa is starting for the Yankees today, and Aaron Boone said that Cessa has a “real opportunity” to make the roster as the long man. He’s out of minor league options, which could factor into the decision.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 2, 2019
Much to the dismay of Yankees fans, it seems like Luis Cessa is still in the family picture. But past feelings aside, it’s time to realize that Cessa still has much to give this Yankees team and the motivation to do so.
Cessa is literally out of options. With no more future in the minor leagues, it’s the big leagues or nothing for Cessa. That gives him that extra motivation to perform to the very best of his abilities this spring training.
Cessa has worked in the past few years on his game in the bullpen, primarily coming in for multiple innings of work during blowout games.
While his career bullpen numbers are not ideal for three seasons (59.2 innings pitched, 4.37 ERA), he has his area of expertise in serving as the long man out of the ‘pen.
In 11 games in relief in 2018, Cessa pitched at least two innings in nine of those outings. In the month of September alone, Cessa pitched three innings in four of his six outings. That is perhaps his most redeeming quality.
Many fans automatically groan when they hear Cessa’s name just because of some horrible memories. It’s almost unbelievable how he’s gotten so many chances when it seems like the Stadium implodes each time he steps foot on the mound.
But it isn’t all that bad, guys. It really isn’t. He’s not a superstar and he’s never going to be. However, he’s going to be an important bridge for multiple innings of work.
Adam Ottavino needs a day off. So does Chad Green. Dellin Betances usually only throws one inning of work. So who can come in to throw a few innings if CC Sabathia only lasts two innings?
There are other options but there is also Cessa, who has shown he has the chops to throw multiple innings and has the motivation to make sure he performs well enough to stay there. Another poor performance and it’s goodbye to Cessa.
Right now, though, the New York Yankees are giving him another chance. Should we as fans do the same?