The Yankees already had good pitching this season and made it even better at the trade deadline.
Sending four prospects to the Athletics netted starter Frankie Montas and veteran bullpen arm Lou Trivino. Sending another to the Cubs netted potential diamond in the rough Scott Effross. Not to mention they also boosted the outfield with Andrew Benintendi, and will boost it further with whatever Brian Cashman decides to do with Joey Gallo.
The pitching addresses a borderline desperate need for the Yankees. Injuries have the bullpen practically threadbare and both Trivino and Effross plug some significant holes. Montas supports a rotation that really needs some support behind Gerrit Cole. New York’s pitching already has a 3.19 staff ERA, and just added a starter with a 3.18 ERA on the season.
Let’s have a look at these three new pitchers and what they’ll bring to the Yankees in the last two months of the regular season.
Frankie Montas. With a whiff rate in the 68th percentile and a chase rate in the 88th, Montas is already a strong fit in the Yankees rotation. Aside from a fastball that averages 96 mph, Montas throws a splitter and slider while also mixing in a curveball and cutter. This gives the Yankees a strong third ace in the rotation alongside Cole and a healthy Luis Severino.
Even better, Montas is still just 29 and has a year of arbitration left before free agency. Better than that, he still has his velocity after missing time with a sore shoulder earlier this year. Add the genius of pitching coach Matt Blake, and Frankie Montas’ time in New York should be more like David Cone’s and less like Sonny Gray’s. Oh, and having a 3.40 career ERA against the rival Astros is also nice.
Lou Trivino. Trivino’s 6.47 ERA in 2022 is uncharacteristic of him, even with his career-best 12.66 K/9. Abandoning his curveball for a slider has led to a rise in hard contact and an inflated .451 batting average on balls in play (BABIP).
Expect pitching coach Matt Blake to get right to work on Trivino and get him using his curveball more among his unique six-pitch mix. Remember, this is the same man who turned Clay Holmes from an afterthought into an All-Star in less than a year. Count on Trivino being yet another strong bullpen arm Cashman rescued from the scrap heap.
Scott Effross. Once again, the Yankees turn to an unknown arm to boost a bullpen in need. Effross, at 28, is an older sidearming rookie who starred for the Cubs this season. He’s posted a 2.66 ERA, 2.19 FIP, and 10.23 K/9 while allowing 20% soft contact.
What’s fascinating is Effross’ average fastball velocity is just 90.3 mph. What makes his stuff stand out are his slider, sinker, and changeup. His chase rate is in the 96th percentile and most of his expected metrics aren’t far behind. Lots of strikeouts and lots of groundballs sounds a perfect fit for what this Yankees bullpen likes to do, right?