Yankees Win: Lucas Luetge
The Yankees have been trying to obtain lifelong Yankee fan lefty Lucas Luetge for quite a while.
In 2020, Luetge opted to join the Oakland A’s instead of the Bombers, believing he’d have a clearer path to big-league work. Alas, that wasn’t the case, as he spent the entire year at the Alternate Site.
This time around, Luetge made the right choice, and the Yanks believed in unlocking his trademark curveball and weaponizing it from the second pen hit paper. So far, so VERY good for the journeyman, who seemed like a potential DFA candidate in April when he was exclusively running into bad luck in mop-up appearances.
On the season, Luetge now has a 2.36 ERA, has whiffed 27 in 26.2 innings pitched, and is essentially battling Peralta for the highest-leverage lefty innings. If we can say a bad word about him … it’s probably best he stays lower-leverage for now, because the competition might be fueling his turnaround somewhat.
That said, Luetge’s been everything the Yankees could’ve hoped for and more, helping contribute to an astounding resurgence for a bullpen without Darren O’Day, Zack Britton, and an effective Justin Wilson. He’s not only been good; he ranks between the top 1%-5% of the league in essentially every underlying metric you want. He’s limiting hard contact, inducing swings and misses, and throwing strikes.
The Yankees’ faith in the lanky lefty lifelong fan has paid off big time.