With Scott Effross limited, reeling Yankee bullpen will need to find answers – The Denver Post


While Andrew Benintendi’s two-run home run gave the Yankees a minute of relief, it really was not very long lasting. With the Mets coming into Yankee Stadium Monday night, the Bombers’ bullpen is still a work in progress.

The news after the games that Scott Effross was not available on Sunday because of shoulder stiffness was yet another blow to a bullpen that has already taken too many this season.

“He had some shoulder stiffness coming out of yesterday’s game, so he wasn’t available to us today,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Effross threw 16 pitches in Saturday’s loss to the Blue Jays after having not pitched for two days. Boone said he was not sure if Effross would be seeing team doctors for imaging or testing.

In eight appearances since the Yankees acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline, Effross has allowed four runs, three earned, for a 3.24 ERA.

Effross had quickly earned Boone and the Yankees trust. Boone turned to him — with Clay Holmes seemingly available but struggling — to close out the only win the Yankees got in Boston. He was in there for 1.1 innings in the only game the Bombers won against the Rays.

Boone could not say if Effross would be going for testing or imaging, but it certainly raises concern about his durability. Effross, a rookie, has already gone past his appearances in the minors and big leagues last season and is nearing the combined innings he threw in 2021.

The Yankees already had to make a minor move on Sunday morning to bring in right-handed reliever Luke Bard when the struggling Albert Abreu went on the injured list with an inflamed elbow. That is on top of Holmes going on the IL with lower back tightness. Struggling before the IL stint, Holmes is hopeful he will be physically ready to come back as soon as eligible and is using this time to rework his delivery to get it back to his first-half All-Star form. They have already lost Michael King, perhaps their most reliable reliever, and Chad Green for the season. Zack Britton continues to make progress in his rehab from October elbow reconstruction surgery, but it’s hard to plan on him coming back and being the back-end of the bullpen arm that the Bombers need down the stretch or in the playoffs.

Aroldis Chapman has struggled so much he isn’t even in the consideration for high-leverage innings right now. Jonathan Loaisiga has been inconsistent.

If Effross is hurt they will have to make a bigger move and consider scrapping the plan to stretch him out into a starter and bring Clarke Schmidt back to the bullpen. He’s already made 16 appearances, one start, and pitched to a 2.40 ERA, allowing eight earned runs in 30.1 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts in the big leagues this season. With 40 games left in the regular season and Luis Severino expected back in the middle of next month, it’s becoming less and less likely they would need Schmidt in the rotation.

And maybe the Yankees saw another late-game option on Sunday.

Lou Trivino came in with the bases loaded in a 2-1 game and cleaned up a mess on Sunday and then ended up giving them 2.1 solid innings.

“Well, I mean, I know what it’s like to go out there and leave bases loaded and not only  am I trying to pick up the team but I am trying to pick up my fellow bullpen pitchers,” Trivino said. “But it’s one of those things you just try and try and be as aggressive as you can in the zone and hopefully get weak contact or swinging misses.”

The right-hander, whom the Bombers acquired with Frankie Montas in a deadline deal with the A’s, had a rough start with Oakland this season, but is using his slider and cutter more since coming to the Yankees and seeing more success.

Even if Effross’ shoulder proves to be fine, Trivino could play a bigger role in the bullpen and be a factor down the stretch. It could help spread the workload among relievers when Holmes comes back too.

“I’m up for anything. Honestly, whatever I can do to help this team win,” Trivino said.  “I’ll do whatever they want.”



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