Despite Yankees spring training camp ending early due to the Coronavirus, there were still a few pitchers that turned heads this year.
I was hoping to write this article right before the regular season started, but due to the Coronavirus MLB has suspended the rest of Spring Training and pushed back opening day at least two weeks. However, he show must go on here, and during the short time in Spring Training, there were three pitchers that stood out from the others for the Yankees.
Fans will continue to dismiss that Luis Cessa had a good year for the Yankees last year. During the second half of 2019, Cessa pitched to a 3.66 ERA and at times was completely unhittable. Coming into Spring Training it wasn’t clear what Cessa’s role with the team would be. It was either a starter or the same role he had last year. Once games started Cessa continued to show that he is getting better each year.
In total this spring, Cessa has pitched to a 2.89 ERA and has 13 Ks in 9.1 innings. His last outing he was in total command, only giving up one hit over 3.2 innings and striking out seven. Cessa for the second year in a row had a great spring and let us see if he can carry it over to the regular season. Whenever that happens.
Monty came back briefly in 2019 from Tommy John, but clearly had a lot of rust to shake off. Coming into Spring Training he was fighting for that 5th rotation spot, but when Sevy went down it was almost a lock for him to make the rotation. But Monty had to prove that he was back to full strength, and he did just that.
While the ERA doesn’t show it, Monty has been very impressive this spring. He has stuck out 16 batters in 11 innings this spring, so the swing and miss stuff is back. His fastball has seemed to have gone up in speed a bit as he had been hitting 95 on the gun a couple of times. Monty has shown that he is back and ready to make an impact in the rotation.
Clarke is now the Yankees number one pitching prospect and was one of the players that everyone was watching this Spring. Clarke has some of the best raw stuff I’ve seen from a Yankees prospect in a long time. Coming into Spring Training, Clarke needed to showcase his stuff and prove that he can handle Major League hitters.
His first outing was a little rough as he had absolutely no control, but after that, he was untouchable in his other outings. Clarke pitched to a 2.57 ERA this spring and struck out eight batters over seven innings. Clarke proved that his stuff is legit and he should be in the Majors at some point this year