Justin Wilson: One Of The First Of Many Deals For The Yankees’ Bullpen


As the off-season began, fans could see that the New York Yankees wanted to make a couple changes to their bullpen. It started with the Yankees trading for the Pirates left-handed relief pitcher Justin Wilson. When the acquisition was first made, Wilson was viewed as a situational relief pitcher that would come in to games to hold the Yankees’ lead. 

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In 58 appearances in 2013, Wilson went 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He allowed 50 hits in 73.2 innings pitched and struck out 58 batters. His command was a bit of a problem (28 walks), but he showed promise for the Pirates. That caught the eye of GM Brian Cashman back in 2013. During the most recent GM meetings, Cashman said, “As a matter of fact, I had this discussion with Pittsburgh two years ago. This exact proposal,” Although he had a subpar year last year (3-4 record, 4.20 ERA), Justin Wilson proved in 2013 that when he is on his game, he could be a great relief pitcher.

A deeper look at Wilson’s stats against right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters showed that he performed better against righties. In 2013, righties hit .189 against him (33 hits in 175 at-bats), while lefties hit .200. In 2014, Wilson continued his success against righties (.201 average, 29 hits in 144 at-bats). However, lefties seemed to pick up his pitches and the average jumped to .253.

Unfortunately for Wilson, the Yankees signed free agent pitcher Andrew Miller and traded for Chasen Shreve. Andrew Miller dominated last year, posting a 2.02 era in 73 appearances. Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances formed a great 1-2 punch for the New York Yankees bullpen. Chasen Shreve made his jump the to majors last year and finished the year with a 0.73 ERA in 15 appearances. Although it is a small sample size, it cannot be denied that a 0.73 ERA is extremely impressive (as well as 15 K’s in 12.1 innings)

Justin Wilson was acquired as a lefty arm the New York Yankees could rely on in the 6th, 7th, or 8th inning. Now it looks like he will be competing for a roster spot come spring training.