The Yankees are built for a long postseason run, but in order for them to reach their goal they will need Adam Ottavino to find it again
The Yankees have had a top-five bullpen in baseball for the last couple of years. In 2019 it saw the reemergence of Tommy Kahnle, as well as standout free agent Adam Ottavino. In Ottavino’s first year with the Yankees he pitched to a 6-5 record with a 1.90 ERA and in 66.1 innings he struck out 88 batters. He was one of the best arms in that bullpen and big things were expected out of him in his second year with the team.
2020 has not gone Ottavino’s way so far. Early on in the season Kahnle went down and needed Tommy John, so the Yankees needed to lean on Ottavino more than before. He was not able to handle it well during the regular season. In 2020 he has pitched to a 2-3 record with a 5.89 ERA.
Ottavino was pretty much unusable late in the season for the Yankees. He failed to recapture the spark that he had all last season and the Yankees missed it a lot. A once lockdown bullpen started to look like one that teams would look at and still think they had a chance. Ottavino was having a good year to be fair, until September 7th.
The Yankees brought in Ottavino to pitch against the Blue Jays in a close game and he proceeded to have the worst outing of his entire career. He gave up six runs without recording a single out and ever since then the Yankees have lost all confidence in him.
They lost so much faith in him that they chose to bring in Loaisiga over him in a very close game two against the Indians. Loaisiga proceeded to give up a game-tying two-run double to Luplow and that absolutely can not happen. The Yankees’ bullpen has the potential to be the best in the league even without Kahnle, and it is capable of bringing them to the World Series. In order for that to happen, Adam Ottavino needs to pitch the way we know he is capable of pitching.
The Rays beat us a lot during the regular season when the game got to our bullpen, something that didn’t happen all last year. Ottavino didn’t give up a single run to the Rays all last year, they were unable to hit him. If the Yankees want to move on and continue to make a deep run Ottavino is needed. The Yankees can’t keep running out Loaisiga in clutch spots because he hasn’t proven himself. The Yankees need Adam Ottavino back.