3 Yankees we’re officially worried about heading into ALDS

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino
New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino /

2. Adam Ottavino

Where in the world is Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino?

Well, we know where he is. He’s in relief pitcher purgatory because Boone doesn’t know how to use him. After an incredible debut regular season with the Bombers, Otto disappeared in the postseason and was utterly shelled by the Houston Astros (and didn’t make things easy in his lone ALDS appearance vs the Twins, either).

His 1.90 regular-season ERA was supplanted by a disgusting 11.57 mark with a 3.00 WHIP in 3.1 innings of playoff duty. Then came the six-run inning in 2020 against the Toronto Blue Jays, which seemingly broke the man.

He was finally getting back on track over the last few weeks, but then ended the season by allowing one run on five hits in one inning of work. Both times he was called upon, he failed to pitch a full inning, and his slider was off, despite it appearing to make its way back between Sept. 17 and Sept. 22.

And last night? Boone didn’t even consider bringing in the right-hander, even to counteract a light-swinging righty in Luplow. We never saw him warming up, and the manager opted for Loaisiga over Otto, and if we’re being honest, Loaisiga hasn’t been much more impressive after coming off the injured list.

So why are we worried? Because Otto’s a $9 million reliever that the Yankees quite literally need, especially with no days off during the ALDS and ALCS. We’re worried that there won’t be enough reinforcements — which Otto was believed to be, and a good one at that! — if Boone doesn’t trust him.