Yankees sign ex-Twins reliever who hates Yankee fans
Despite somehow securing seven excellent innings from six different arms in the wake of Jameson Taillon’s early exit Tuesday night, the New York Yankees are still in need of bullpen help. As the final day for postseason roster additions approaches, they’re throwing a few additional things at the wall in the hope that something sticks.
At the moment, this team is without a defined closer. Aroldis Chapman has always held that role, for richer or poorer, but he finally lost hold of it this season before succumbing to a leg infection and landing on the IL.
Both Clay Holmes and Jonathan Loaisiga have served in the role before, but Loaisiga is only tentatively “back” after battling injuries and ineffectiveness this season, and Holmes only just returned from the IL (and may have figured out his arm slot issue).
That leaves a bullpen full of wild cards, though some — like Ron Marinaccio, Lou Trivino and the newly-introduced Greg Weissert — have been on a roll. There’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t keep adding names, though, and there’s nothing in the Yankees’ current ‘pen that would indicate they’re all set.
Wednesday’s addition brings a little more pedigree than other recent darts like Chi Chi Gonzalez or Anthony Banda, though. The Yankees have reportedly imported former Twins reliever Tyler Duffey, who starred in 2019 and 2020, and also dropped this gem about Yankee fans back in 2019, amid the Randy Dobnak “Uber!” chants in the ALDS.
New Yankees reliever Tyler Duffey does not like Yankee fans
Duffey claimed that, back in 2019, he had beer thrown on him and endured “a lot” of expletives during the two postseason contests between the Yanks and Twins, which … yeah. He … he probably did. The reliever did give one compliment to Yankee fans, tipping his cap and claiming their hatred for no apparent reason is “what you want.”
Welcome to the family, Tyler!
Duffey sported a 4.91 ERA in 44 difficult innings for the Twins this season, but put up 182, 232, and 133 ERA+ marks the past three campaigns. His shortened 2020 was his highlight (1.88 ERA/0.792 WHIP), but his 2019 was also quite special (82 Ks in 57.2 innings, 2.50 ERA).
The Yankees have also plundered Duffey from a familiar source: the Round Rock Express, otherwise known as the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
The right-hander opted out of his contract there a few days ago, just like … Matt Carpenter did a few days before Memorial Day.
If Jameson Taillon can make his next start, that decreases the likelihood the team will use a Sept. call-up on Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Instead, it’s much more likely the Bombers promote Duffey for their series with the Rays, slice Luke Bard off the 40-man roster, and simply wait for Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino to return and be embraced by the fans, something Duffey will surely hate.