Yankees 2018 Positional Report Cards: Relief Pitchers

The Yankees are now looking directly towards the 2019 season, so let’s take a look at how their relief pitchers performed last year.

From Catcher to starting pitcher, I’ve run through every position for the New York Yankees in the 2018 season but alas we come to the final grading. Relief pitching is crucial to the game of baseball and the Yankees had one of the best bullpens you could ask for in the past season.

Now since the New York Yankees had a massive amount of pitchers being switched out on the daily, I’ll be covering the most notable bullpen men for the Yankees.

Let’s take a deep look into the number one bullpen in all of baseball:

Chad Green

When I write about these players I try to keep my bias out of the article as best as I can, All that being said I believe Chad Green is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball.

While not having the year he had in 2017, Green in 2018 proved to be the anchor that holds the ship at bay. Chad Green is as clutch as they come in crucial situations.

From all the pitchers that I will grade, Green is at the top of the list of pitchers I want to be on the mound when the game is on the line. At 27 years of age, Chad Green is another young piece to the World Series puzzle.

Grade: A-

Zach Britton

Zach Britton was traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Yankees for Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll, and Josh Rogers. In a time where the Yankees knew they were one good arm away from a shutdown bullpen, New York made the move to get Britton from Baltimore.

A two-time all-star, Britton pitched well but it seems his best days are behind him. Zach Britton would finish with his highest ERA as a reliever with a respectable 3.10.

In a bullpen featuring Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, it seemed as a high profile pitcher like Britton was an interesting choice since he only pitched 25 games with 25 innings.

Would I welcome Zach Britton back? Of course, but the price tag might not exactly be helping him come back in pinstripes.

Grade: B-

David Robertson

David Robertson made his triumphant return to the New York Yankees in 2017 after three seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Since then, Robertson has become a hot commodity in this offseason with how great he pitched with the Yankees.

This season, Robertson actually struggled quite a bit and more than he has in his career before but like I said with Zach Britton, even at their lowest these men are still fantastic and any team would love to have them wearing their jersey.

Robertson would finish with a 3.26 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 26 bases on balls. Sadly, it looks like Robertson may not sign back with the Yankees in this offseason. Robertson hasn’t been the main focus for the Yankees this offseason but once they sign Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and anyone else that could destroy the Fenway fools, David Robertson should be looked at as a man to sign for stability.

Grade: B-

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances is the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of major league pitching. When on the mound, you never know what you’re gonna get. Betances is one of the most lights out pitchers when he’s on his game and one of the wildest men when he’s not.

All that being said, 2018 was proof that Betances is an amazing pitcher when he has his mind right. Even at his worst (do you see a trend) is still quite good.  He has recorded at least one strikeout in  34 straight games. Betances has at least one strikeout in 52 of the 54 games he has pitched this season.

The 6’8, 30-year-old reliever was on a roll this year and crucial part of making this bullpen so special.

Grade: B+

Aroldis Chapman

After a rocky return to the Bronx in 2017, Aroldis Chapman turned in one of his best closing performances to date. Chapman recorded 32 saves in 34 save Opportunites and finished the year as a top ten reliever.

With the awful performance of “top” reliever Craig Kimbrel in the postseason, I firmly believe Aroldis Chapman is in position to be the best closer in the American League. Chapman would finish the year with a 2.45 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched. C

hapman returning to the Yankees after being traded for Gleyber Torres is one of the best things to happen to the New York Yankees in years. Chapman has all the potential to be a great Yankee closer and this year proved that in a big bad way.

Grade: A

Join the conversation