Yankees: Nick Nelson’s amazing debut came at perfect time for NYY


The Yankees got three dominant innings out of Nick Nelson on Sunday, proving the Summer Camp narrative legit.

The New York Yankees needed a shot in the arm this week — and they also needed an additional pitcher.

Yes, Tommy Kahnle got an MRI on Friday, and when the die contrast settled, it became clear that his damaged UCL would be best served by season-ending (and possibly Yankees career-ending) Tommy John surgery.

While fans spent Friday and Saturday mulling that disturbing factoid, it certainly would’ve been nice for a distraction. Something, like … oh, I don’t know … a heretofore unknown 24-year-old pitching prospect who recently cracked the 40-man getting the call to the bigs and seamlessly filling Kahnle’s role?

Though he did it with a bit less flash, Nick Nelson stepped in on Saturday night and demolished the Red Sox in the fifth inning … then the sixth … and finally the seventh.


Nelson, of course, dominated the Phillies during the final Summer Camp scrimmage, but was then cast off to the Alternate Site, re-added to the fray on July 26 along with Brooks Kriske — who, let’s face it, might be earning a similarly-written post of his own if he echoes what he did in his debut Wednesday in Baltimore.

The 24-year-old blonde-haired Nelson deserves this tribute in full, though. At the exact time when Yankees fans were probably as concerned about the bullpen as they’d been in years (foolishly or not), he stepped in and made history.

He’s the first to do that in his Yanks career. And he’s definitely the first Yankee to do any semblance of that against Boston — at least, I’m led to believe that was the Boston Red Sox playing in the Bronx last night. Can’t be certain.

However his future shapes out, Nelson’s unexpected arrival is exactly the kind of thing that makes baseball great. Perhaps he won’t rise above the lowest levels of the circle of trust in 2020, but you know what? His easy cheese is pretty helpful to have at any level of your ‘pen. Nelson certainly provided comfort this weekend, and has us itching for Take 2.