As their bullpen issues increase exponentially, the Yankees might be throwing one of their top minor-league options from the frying pan into the fire.
Not only could Triple-A closer Greg Weissert be promoted over the next few weeks, but if he arrives with enough runway, he might just make himself indispensable by October. That’s how up in the air the current back-end structure is, which you might have noticed during recent greatest hits like, “Lou Trivino for 2.1 Innings” and “Struggling Jonathan Loaisiga for Four Outs Against the Heart of the Order Because F*** It”.
While nothing is for certain, and he’s not on the 40-man roster, New York Post insider Joel Sherman revealed on Tuesday morning that the Yankees have considered Weissert for a promotion during recent roster shake-ups.
The team reportedly believed Weissert’s slider could be an excellent matchup against the Blue Jays in this past weekend’s series, but instead opted for Luke Bard, recently selected from the Rays and added to the 40-man.
Bard didn’t receive an opportunity during the Toronto series, as Weissert continued to open eyes on the farm and increase his chances of being this September’s Stephen Ridings (as Ridings himself works his way back from injury, too).
Yankees Rumors: Triple-A closer Greg Weissert could get Sept. call-up
What else do the Yankees realistically need out of their September call-ups this year other than additional bullpen help? Trivino and Scott Effross were both added at the trade deadline, with many around the organization believing the Yanks could fix the ex-A’s hurler by getting him to focus more on his strongest offerings. So far, so good there — Trivino has walked five and allowed seven hits in his nine innings with the Yankees, but only one earned run belongs to him.
Effross? He was excellent and seemed poised to move into a temporary closer’s role this week, but has been felled by a “small” shoulder strain. Without him, the Yankees will have to juggle Trivino, Ron Marinaccio, Wandy Peralta, Loaisiga (who’s been Jekyll and Hyde for months), and a regressing Aroldis Chapman until they can find reinforcements.
Sept. can’t come soon enough, when Weissert could be joined by Ridings (and Zack Britton?!) as the Yankees look to mix and match without their biggest names. New York needs a 40-man spot for the newbie, sure, but they’ll need one this winter anyway if they want to protect him (and they should).
And plus, how hard could it be to find one of those? Bard got one a week ago in the blink of an eye.
Weissert, the 27-year-old Bay Shore native and Fordham alum, has struck out 67 men in 45.2 innings the year after striking out 60 in 49.1 innings, with 82.1 of those innings coming at the minors’ highest level.
He’s ready to show off that wipeout slider in the bigs, and potentially worm his way into seventh-or-eighth-inning duty almost immediately. If it happens, try not to focus too closely on why it took so long for the Yankees to arrive at this point.