How much of the Yankees game against the Twins did you watch on Thursday night? If you didn’t make it much further than the first inning, nobody would blame you. After two great starts, Jhony Brito imploded amid a nine-run first for Minnesota. It was 11-1 by the ninth, which paved the way for utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa to make his pitching debut.
He allowed one hit with no walks or strikeouts over a scoreless inning of work. That was good news because nobody wanted to see any more runs cross the plate for the Twins. IKF didn’t exactly light up the radar gun while toeing the slab, though. The second pitch of his outing was this 38 mph (!) Eephus pitch:
This 38 MPH Eephus pitch from IKF was the slowest tracked pitch in Yankees history
(via @CodifyBaseball) pic.twitter.com/zug2WS6TP3
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 14, 2023
This was like some Rookie of the Year “Just float it!” stuff.
Heck, he even almost got it over the plate. I’m not really sure why he’d throw a pitch that slow. Just pump in some batting practice-like fastballs at around 60 mph or so, right? Kiner-Falefa isn’t a pitcher, but he probably has enough accuracy to get the job done (which he eventually did).
But as you can see from the above tweet, IKF’s Eephus is the slowest-tracked pitch in Yankees’ history. Honestly, I’d be shocked if it wasn’t. Who else is throwing something that slow? The fine people at Codify Baseball added some context to this history, as well. They’ve tracked more than 350,000 pitches from the Yankees. That’s a lot of competition to move past!
The next time a Yankees position player gets called upon to pitch — whether it’s IKF, Anthony Rizzo, or someone else — they need to throw something slower. This needs to become a competition. It’ll at least keep us occupied in the midst of a blowout.
Kiner-Falefa probably won’t last the whole season in pinstripes. At least he made some history before any of those decisions have to be made. New York and Minnesota will meet again in the Bronx on Friday night. Nestor Cortes will try and make it out of the first inning for the Bombers.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.