Johnny Barbato made a miraculous start to his Yankee career, with 15 innings of scoreless baseball. Then, he collapsed. He was sent to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders after allowing eight runs over his next seven innings of pitching. He was recalled in late August when he allowed four runs without recording an out. His 2.61 in the minors and his mid-nineties fastball could prove his worth to allow him to find a sport in the Yankee pen for the upcoming season.
Richard Bleier has the possibility to steal a role in the Yankees bullpen after carrying a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings last season. There is nothing magical or electric about the 29-year-old, with a high eighties fastball, but his southpaw arm and ability to put lefties on the bench could push his appearances as a specialist.
Yankees Future Key Relief Pitchers
Tommy Layne, also a left-hander, could also find a roster spot as a left-hand specialist as he pitched in 16 innings last season with a 3.38 ERA. His control needs to be worked on, as he walked seven batters, and hit two. His mid-nineties fastball sets Layne up for a possible relief role that could allow the Yankees to rest their sure guys without cause for concern.
Ben Heller coming with Clint Frazier from the Andrew Miller trade could find his way to the bullpen as his high-nineties fastball could indulge the Yankees to bring him up sooner rather than later and blow pitches past hitters like Chapman, only earlier in the game. Heller and Frazier could make for a great deal with the Miller trade, as their long-term poise could outweigh Miller’s next few seasons.
Last but not least, 6th round draft pick in 2014, Jonathan Holder. Holder pitched for Trenton Thunder for 28 games, allowing only ten earned runs in 41 innings pitched. He also surrendered just seven walks while striking out 59. Posting a 2.20 ERA with the club moved up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders where he got better, hard to believe.
He pitched in 12 games, 20.1 innings tallying 35 strikeouts while allowing just two earned runs and no free passes, on his way to a 0.89 ERA. He found his struggles when he was called up to the big leagues though with just 8.1 innings he allowed five earned runs and four walks while registering five strikeouts and a miserable 5.40 start to his Yankee career.
Still, he is a valuable option and worth a look during spring training to determine whether he makes the team or not.