Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What about CJ Riefenhauser?

The New York Yankees already have what many would consider to be a super bullpen and one of the best bullpen trios possibly in Major League history so why would the team be potentially looking at adding yet another arm to the mix? Because they are the Yankees and I’m only suggesting it because we put the “greedy” in The Greedy Pinstripes. On a serious note though while the Yankees likely don’t need another relief pitcher one just became available that makes a bit of sense for a team that’s looking towards the future and looking to get younger. His name is CJ Riefenhauser.

While I don’t look forward to typing out Riefenhauser for the next few seasons in New York I would put that on the backburner if the Yankees were to sign him. The Baltimore Orioles recently designated Riefenhauser for assignment to make room for Odrisamer Despaigne leaving the 26-year old up for grabs for the other 29 teams in the league. The draft order goes according to record and puts whatever league the player is in at the forefront so the Yankees would pick in front of 17 other teams but why would they take him? His stats surely don’t make him look like an attractive piece but does he have a saving grace?

First and foremost the Yankees have shown an uncanny ability to take anyone and everyone and make them better in their bullpen. New York is to bullpen pitchers what the St. Louis Cardinals are to starting pitchers and Riefenhauser already has the talent necessary to make him a great bullpen arm, he just needs the confidence to back it up. Riefenhauser is left-handed and while he’s struggled in a small sample size in the majors he was brilliant down in Triple-A. Riefenhauser boasts a 2.15 career MiLB ERA in three seasons and has been especially good against left-handed bats. Riefenhauser won’t blow anyone away, he stays around 89-90 MPH, but he can keep hitters guessing with his slider and changeup.

The Yankees need another southpaw and LOOGY type like they need another hole in the head but the talent is there and the production has been there in the minor leagues. He may be one of those you take a flyer on and see what you get. If it’s little to nothing then you lose little to nothing but if he and the Yankees were able to catch lightning in a bottle… well this bullpen just becomes silly. 

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