The New York Yankees could really use all the reliable relievers they can handle.
They have lost Chad Green and Michael King for the year, and Jonathan Loaisiga, Aroldis Chapman, and other high-profile names haven’t been as sharp as expected this year.
The unit, right now, is filled with uncertainty.
That’s why welcoming back a guy like Zack Britton, who recently completed his rehab from 2021 Tommy John surgery, would be huge.
“Zack Britton is in the #Yankees clubhouse. Says his rehab is now over, and that he feels it is important to him to pitch before the season is over for no other reason than to have an impact in a team that can win a World Series,” ESPN’s Marly Rivera tweeted.
Zack Britton is in the #Yankees clubhouse. Says his rehab is now over, and that he feels it is important to him to pitch before the season is over for no other reason than to have an impact in a team that can win a World Series.
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 21, 2022
Britton is right: in order for him to contribute in the postseason, he needs to start logging MLB innings right now.
Activation, therefore, seems imminent.
Healthy Britton Can Make A Difference
Britton had a lousy 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings last year, but he was clearly affected by hamstring and elbow troubles.
Between 2019 and 2020, he pitched 80.1 frames and had a 1.90 ERA with one of the best groundball rates in the league.
One of the key points for Britton as he prepares to return to active duties is the velocity of his sinker.
It averaged 96 during his best days, but it was at 94-95 during that recent 2019-20 run.
During his rehab appearances in Double-A and Triple-A in September, he sat at the 91-92 range and touched 93 mph.
Getting back to at least 93-94 would be ideal.
In any case, the Yankees bullpen can definitely use a guy like Britton.
He may get his chance in the upcoming days and could be a huge arm in October.