Yankees: 3 biggest differences between 2019 and 2020 Yankees

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Yankees RHP Adam Ottavino (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. Lack of Bullpen Dominance

The Yankees’ bullpen isn’t as reliable in 2020 as it was last season.

If you were to count how many meltdowns the Yankees bullpen has had already in 2020 (43 games), then compared it with the number for the entirety of last season, things would be way too close for comfort.

If there was ever a stat to could encapsulate the group’s struggles, it’s that the likes of Jonathan Holder and Luis Cessa have been two of New York’s three most reliable relievers. The other is Zack Britton, who’s posted a 2.57 ERA, eight saves and 12 strikeouts despite owning an 0-2 record.

The struggles of Adam Ottavino, Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green, in particular, have been the most alarming. The former is a shell of the stud he was in 2019, when he logged a 1.90 ERA and 88 strikeouts across 66.1 innings. Chapman has been largely useless since being activated following a spell with the coronavirus, and Green’s tendency to implode has drastically increased this year.

As a group, the Yankees relievers ranked 15th in MLB (through Wednesday’s action) with a 4.52 ERA and 24th with a 0.3 WAR, according to FanGraphs. Last season, they finished ninth (4.08) and second (7.6) in those respective categories. With the starting rotation being markedly unpredictable behind ace Gerrit Cole, the inconsistency of the bullpen, which was arguably the Yankees’ greatest strength in 2019, has really amplified their underwhelming showing as a team thus far this season.

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