1. Yankees Uncovered a Good One in Ron Marinaccio
The Yankees bullpen was a strength when camp broke in mid-March. In the three weeks since, it’s only gotten stronger — in multiple respects.
Trading their excess lefty Joely Rodriguez for Miguel Castro of the Mets seems like a win-win, need-filling trade, and one that has left the Yankees in a far better position than if they’d carried Rodriguez, only to not trust him in high-leverage situations.
Then there’s the decision to carry 16 pitchers, and while the jury’s currently out on JP Sears, Clarke Schmidt seems to have found his legs in relief after poor showings in 2020 and 2021, while New Jersey native, Yankee diehard, and late-round pick Ron Marinaccio was given a trial by fire Saturday and came out tan rather than scorched.
The first man out of the ‘pen after Luis Severino got victimized by Alex Verdugo, both otherwise showed off, Marinaccio walked the first man he faced in Trevor Story, who was borderline not a major-leaguer this weekend (oh no!).
After an Anthony Rizzo pep talk, though, he breezed through the rest of the lineup, showing off each and every one of his pitches. There was the change he got Bobby Dalbec to flail over, the 96 MPH fastball at the edges that nipped Boston’s rally in the bud, and the sweeping slider that ended the inning, playing the role of strike three to Christian Vazquez. Once Marinaccio booted up, he found his location robotically, sending the Red Sox packing in order during the inning that could’ve been the breaking point in an eventual comeback win (the Yankees evened the score in the bottom half).
For too long, we’ve heard that Marinaccio could be a weapon if given a chance to contribute. We’ve also spent years (decades?) watching the Next Big Thing Reliever hit the bigs only for his control to be nonexistent and his poise to be lacking. After the briefest of speed bumps, Marinaccio showed he can be the real deal with three different pitches — and now, this bullpen is stuffed.
Yes. After three games. It’s official.