He may have snuck up the trust tree a bit earlier than expected due to a cavalcade of injuries around him, but Ron Marinaccio — otherwise known as Toms River’s Own aka Todd Frazier With a Slider — has legitimately hit another level for the Yankees since they gave him a second chance in mid-May.
You might not have noticed. We get it. Lots going on lately. But since May 21, whether in mop-up duty or forced into extra innings — Marinaccio has been legitimately dominant, which is exactly what the Bombers foresaw as he tore through the upper minors last year.
The 26-year-old Marinaccio has sprinted to the front of the line after opening 2021 as an unknown quantity, a 2017 19th-round pick who’d posted a 4.18 ERA at High-A before the pandemic snatched a full season from him.
No matter; his 105 whiffs in 66.1 innings and 2.04 ERA across levels in 2021 forced the Yankees to protect him from a Rule 5 Draft (that never occurred), knocking the likes of Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade off the roster in order to accommodate him and give him a real shot in spring training.
He took that shot and forced the Bombers’ hand, though his first impression at the big-league level made him seem extremely green. A blowup ninth inning attempt to hold a massive lead against the Orioles left him with an 11.25 ERA and demotion in the wake of the eventual victory.
But since his second chance? Flawless.
Yankees reliever Ron Marinaccio has been dominant since May
And, just for reference, those nearly nine one-hit innings have come against some pretty top competition. I know, I know, the Yankees “only play bad teams,” but … nope, also not at all:
- 0.2 shutout with 1 K against the White Sox in his comeback appearance on May 22
- 2.0 shutout against the O’s with 3K in a 2-0 win on May 25
- 0.2 shutout (with a pair of walks and an HBP…) at the Trop on May 29. Not his moment of glory.
- 2.0 shutout with 1 hit and 3 whiffs on the road in Minny June 7
- 1.0 shutout in extras against the Cubbies — manned the 13th inning and got the win June 10
- 1.0 additional shutout inning in an 8-0 victory over Chicago the next day
- 1.1 shutout in New York’s bullpen game masterpiece Thursday night where the Yanks Weber Grill’d the Rays
If Marinaccio could record one more out before giving up a run in his next outing (in Toronto? in Tampa?), he’ll be at nine full dominant innings with only one tough outing mixed in during the middle innings of the finale of a four-game set at Tropicana. You know how few veteran relievers can handle that plastic mound? So the kid puts up one hatchet job, big whoop.
When this bullpen is (hopefully) back to full strength, with Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loaisiga blended in, Marinaccio’s role will be diminished a bit.
There will still be an opening for a Chad Green type, though. And since Marinaccio’s flame was reignited with a promotion, he’s filled the slot very well.