2. Joe Mantiply, Arizona Diamondbacks
Come on, Yankee fan favorite Joe Mantiply! You remember, right? Slightly below Breyvic Valera in the pecking order, slightly ahead of Juan Miranda? Ringing a bell, no? No? OK, no.
Well, Mantiply was a Yankee once upon a time, serving as back-end roster fodder in both 2016 (claimed off waivers, released, signed a new minor-league deal in December, left after 2017) and 2019, when he actually made his big-league Bombers debut (three innings, three earned runs).
After that auspicious start, it was onto Arizona, where Mantiply struggled in 2020, found his footing in 2021, and has been silently buzzsawing the competition in 2022.
Call the Yankees “untraditional” if you’d like, but they love to incur lefty-lefty matchups when it comes time for October, and prior to the three-batter minimum, they’d even bend over backwards to stack lefties in the bullpen (Tyler Lyons in 2019?!). If Lucas Luetge survives a year’s worth of roster purges, he’ll make the playoff roster, as will secret weapon Wandy Peralta, who feasts on batters from both sides of the plate, thanks to his devastating change.
Maybe Mantiply would fit as a late-inning upgrade over Manny Banuelos, though? This season, he’s allowed a single earned run in 26.2 innings, good for an 0.34 ERA, alongside 26 whiffs and an 0.825 WHIP. Left-handed Clay Holmes, come on down!
Limiting hard contact? Yeah, the crafty lefty can do that, too; Mantiply is in the 92nd percentile for average exit velocity against, and 62nd percentile for hard-hit percentage overall. His xWOBA? Hard 99th, thanks for asking. BB%? Literally the 100th percentile. Again, appreciate the question.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the Diamondbacks or you don’t recall Mantiply’s two turns of duty in New York, that’s understandable. But in the former Yankee head-to-head battle with Richard Bleier of the Marlins, Mantiply comes out way on top.