Yankees: 4 ways Aaron Boone can vary bullpen usage in postseason

1 of 4

This postseason will be unlike any other, so the Yankees need to be prepared.

Thanks to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, the New York Yankees (and yes, other teams too) will have to drastically change their ways in the 2020 postseason because there will be zero (0) days off in the ALDS and ALCS (obviously the same with the NLDS and NLCS).

So what does that mean? If Gerrit Cole pitches Game 1 of the ALDS (he probably will), he’ll have to pitch on short rest in a hypothetical Game 5. But perhaps more importantly, manager Aaron Boone won’t get to use his best bullpen arms on any given night. The playoffs now profile as the regular season with the lack of breaks.

The rotation will be the rotation. Boone is going to have an order starting with Cole and Masahiro Tanaka, and then he’ll play it by ear, but those guys will pitch on their usual days or even on short rest. No-brainer.

But the bullpen? Well, Boone’s going to have to get creative and perhaps act in an unconventional manner at times. Never have we seen the stakes so high with such limitations in place, and if we’re being honest, Boone’s bullpen management in 2020 hasn’t been great.

Here are four ways he can get creative and help maximize the efficiency of every reliever.

Jonathan Loaisiga #43 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jonathan Loaisiga #43 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

4. More high-stakes innings for Jonathan Loaisiga

Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga has earned more worthwhile innings.

This hinges on Jonathan Loaisiga getting some more worthwhile innings before the season ends. But even if he doesn’t, you could make the argument he’d be effective in tight situations for one inning in a few postseason games. The Yankees are going to need another one of those guys, too, because Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Chad Green won’t be available every night with the new postseason schedule.

Sadly, Loaisiga is a man without a role. He’s been used as an opener/spot starter, middle reliever tasked with multi-inning duty after a starter falters, or a late-inning arm when guys need rest. They need to stop toying around and give the right-hander a definitive job. He should be pitching more one-inning outings in higher-leverage situations.

He possesses the kind of stuff you want from a one-inning guy. His fastball averages 97 MPH and has good movement. Throw in a curve and changeup and that’s a good enough mix to get the job done.

Though he had a bad showing against the Blue Jays on Monday night, he came in for innings three and four after Michael King had gotten in a world of trouble. Give him a clean slate in the sixth or seventh and we bet he’ll get the job done in the postseason.