The injury gods have been unusually quiet this season for the New York Yankees. Zack Britton and Luis Severino are the main ones the team is currently dealing with. Luke Voit missed the first month of the season with a torn meniscus and made his season debut last night. Severino has been out due to Tommy John surgery last year and Britton is beginning to revamp his program following getting a bone spur removed in his elbow in the Spring. He begun throwing bullpen sessions last week and will throw a sim game this Saturday before beginning his rehab assignment. The earliest Britton can be activated off the 60-day IL is May 29.
Britton will upgrade an already strong and reliable pen. They faced some struggles last week, but it happens. Britton is up there with Aroldis Chapman as the pen’s best arms. The bullpen so far has been lights out for the most part. They have been heavily utilized this season and they have carried the team at times. The bullpen is second in the league in ERA- with 67 as well as second with FIP- with 76 and they lead the league in SIERA and WHIP at 3.06 and 1.02 respectively.
Jonathan Loasiaga has assumed a new role in the pen. He has developed into a strong reliever capable of going multiple innings if needed. Out of 16 appearances, seven Loasiaga appearances have been for more than one inning.
Despite being responsible for the loss against Houston last week, Chad Green has looked much better early on compared to last season as well. So far this season he has a 57 ERA- and 83 FIP-. He found his control again, bringing down his BB/9 from 2.81 last season to 1.40 so far this season.
Britton is arguably one of the top two relievers in the bullpen next to Chapman in a bullpen full of talent and heat. His absence has not been felt early on like Voit was due to the bullpen constantly producing, but it cannot be stated how important his return will be. In 2020, Britton appeared in 20 games and posted a 43 ERA-, 57 FIP-, 1.00 WHIP, and 3.38 SIERA. A healthy Britton can push the bullpen to another level. They faced a lot of questions heading into the season, but have answered them. Upon Britton’s return, the bullpen has the potential to look like the 2019 bullpen – or better and that would be huge for this team.
Chapman has been unhittable all season. If he can keep that up and Britton returns and pitches as he did in 2019-2020, teams will have plenty of problems scoring runs on the bullpen. The game could be over by the 8th inning. Imagine Gerrit Cole going seven innings, Britton comes in for the eighth and Chapman closes it out.