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

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Adam Ottavino #42 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

3. Use Adam Ottavino for multiple innings at a time

The Yankees need to utilize Adam Ottavino in some capacity despite his struggles.

Truth be told, Adam Ottavino is on a roll right now. Ever since that inning in Buffalo that we will never speak of again, the right-hander has tossed 4.2 innings of scoreless ball with seven strikeouts. And his slider is officially back. Almost none of it has come in high-leverage situations, but Boone had to build him back up.

Is it the best idea to start introducing more pressure in the postseason? Well, the postseason is full of pressure regardless of the scenario, so Otto will be experiencing that — especially after his dreadful showing in 2019 (11.57 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in five games) — right off the bat. Any further addition of stress could prove to be detrimental.

So, instead of using him in mop-up duty or in the seventh inning while clinging to a one-run lead, why not get him in there when a starter is overworked or getting smacked around but the lineup is responding and keeping it within reach? And keep him in there for two innings. Maybe for the fourth and fifth? Fifth and sixth? He’s kept his pitch count pretty low as of late (61 in his last four innings of work), so pushing him a little more when he manages to get out of an inning throwing under 15 pitches could be effective.

It’ll give him more worthwhile work during the shortened season and help keep the bullpen a bit more rested. Every extra inning will be crucial.