Who could we see after Cole?
In general, the Red Sox bullpen was asked to do a far heavier lift over the past week than the Yankees bullpen. The only pitcher who was asked to throw even a back-to-back was Clay Holmes on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Holmes was also the only pitcher who was brought into more than three games in the final week, pitching in four of the final six games. That being said, everyone on both sides had Monday off and should be ready to go. Ice up, son!
Aroldis Chapman (LHP): 61 G, 6-4, 3.36 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 30/34 SV, 6.1 BB/9, 15.5 K/9
Chapman lost his closer job briefly around mid-season, but that swoon is a thing of the past. Since the All-Star break, the lefty’s ERA is 2.03 in 26 2⁄3 innings, and he hasn’t given up multiple runs in an outing since July 4. The walks, however, have been an issue throughout the season. He is in the bottom one percent in all of baseball in walk rate, but has been able to pitch out of jams thanks to a strikeout rate that is in the top percentile in all of baseball. The newly found splitter is a true out-pitch, accounting for the majority (28) of his 97 strikeouts this year, and also allowing a paltry .030 BA this season. Chapman has a 2.70 ERA against the Red Sox this year in 6 2⁄3 innings with three saves.
Last pitched: Sunday, 18 pitches
High Leverage Relievers:
Basing the “high leverage” tag solely on who pitched in the must-have games from the past week, all these pitchers threw in the Friday and Sunday one-run games against Tampa, with the exception of Green, who threw 25 pitches in a hold on Thursday before being brought back on Sunday.
Jonathan Loaisiga (RHP): 57 G, 9-4, 2.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 5 SV, 2.0 BB/9, 8.8 K/9
Loaisiga has only allowed an earned run in eight of his 57 appearances this season. The issue is that his blow-up outings have been devastating, which we saw first-hand at Fenway on July 24 when Loaisiga allowed four runs on four hits without recording an out, getting the loss in a shocking 5-4 comeback win. That was one of three outings this year where he gave up four earned runs. Loaisiga relies mainly on a three-pitch mix (sinker, curveball, changeup) and his sinker averages 98.3 mph. His Statcast numbers are off the charts, placing in the top three precent in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and barrels allowed, as well as chase rate. Loaisiga allowed 12 hits and four runs in six innings against the Red Sox this season, with all four runs coming in the same outing.
Last pitched: Sunday, 21 pitches
Chad Green (RHP): 67 G, 10-7, 3.12 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 6 SV, 1.8 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
Green’s 83 2⁄3 innings easily leads all Yankee relievers this season. Don’t be surprised to see him called upon for multiple innings if he is throwing well, which he did 27 times this year. Green appeared in the eighth inning in 25 of his 67 outings this year. He did hit a rough patch in early September but has responded with seven straight scoreless appearances to end the season. Green throws his fastball (95.7 mph) 65 percent of the time and his curveball (85.0 MPH) at a 35 percent clip, and ranks in the top 11 percent of the league in both walk and strikeout rate. He did allow six runs in seven innings against Boston this year and allowed 14 home runs this year.
Last pitched: Sunday, 24 pitches
Clay Holmes (RHP): 69 G, 8-4, 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
Holmes came over from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline with a 4.93 ERA and has been outstanding since. His 0.79 WHIP and a 1.61 ERA in his two-plus months with the Yankees has made him a reliable late-inning option. After averaging over five walks per nine with Pittsburgh, he’s averaged 1.3 per nine with New York. Holmes averages 96 mph, and his sinker, slider, curveball mix has kept him in the top 4 percent in the league in barrel rate allowed.
Last pitched: Sunday, 14 pitches
Wandy Peralta (LHP): 56 G, 5-4, 3.35 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 5 SV, 3.7 BB/9, 7.6 K/9
Peralta came over from San Francisco in return for Mike Tauchman in a late-April deal. He allowed a 5.26 ERA in the first half of the season, but has only allowed a 1.42 ERA in the second half, and only allowed one run in 10 2⁄3 innings in the final month. Lefties hit .246 against Peralta, with righties hitting .254. The southpaw’s most effective pitch is his changeup, which he throws 48 percent of the time for a .200 BA allowed along with a Fastball (38 percent) and Slider (14 percent).
Last pitched: Sunday, 21 pitches
Lucas Luetge (LHP): 57 G, 4-2, 2.74 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 1 SV, 1.9 BB/9, 9.7 K/9
The 34-year-old Luetge hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 before this season but has become a reliable arm in the Yankee bullpen. His Cutter is only 88 MPH but with a top 3% spin rate in baseball, which he uses 62% of the time. He also features a Slider and Curveball. Luetge has limited walks and hard contact, and only allows a .196 average against LHB compared to .259 from RHB.
Last pitched: Saturday, 53 pitches
Luis Severino (RHP): 4 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, 12.0 K/9
A very familiar face, Severino could certainly be a, well, wild card out of the bullpen in this Wildcard Game. Returning in the final two weeks of the season, Severino averaged 95.4 mph on his fastball, a couple of ticks down from “peak” Severino but not surprising as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. His slider and changeup were both effective, with the latter accounting for five of his eight strikeouts down the stretch.
Last pitched: Thursday, 16 pitches
Michael King (RHP): 22 G (6 GS), 2-4, 3.55 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, 8.8 K/9
King spent some time in the rotation this season, mostly in June, with limited success. He was recalled from the minor leagues in September and made eight appearances out of the bullpen down the stretch. He throws his fastball 62 percent of the time, averaging 94 mph, and also has a slider, changeup, and curve in his arsenal. King is in the bottom quarter of the league in hard-hit metrics and may have gotten a bit lucky this year with a 4.83 Expected ERA.
Last pitched: Saturday, 13 pitches
Joely Rodriguez (LHP): 52 G, 2-3, 4.66 ERA, 1 SV, 1.53 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.1 K/9
Rodriguez came over from Texas along with Joey Gallo at the trade deadline. He allowed only a 2.84 ERA in his 21 Yankee appearances. Rodriguez averages 94 mph with the fastball, throwing it 59% of the time, along with a changeup and occasional slider. His splits are drastic, allowing a .203 average to LHB and a .339 average to RHB.
Last pitched: Saturday, 38 pitches
Domingo Germán (RHP): 22 G (18 GS), 4-5, 4.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
German spent most of the season in the rotation before injuring his shoulder in early August. He returned to throw one game in relief in October, in which he allowed two runs. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees choose to put him on the Wildcard roster after two months off. He did throw his best game of the season against the Red Sox in July, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning.
Last pitched: Friday, 32 pitches