The New York Yankees’ bullpen heading into this American League Division Series against the Cleveland Guardians is decimated, and one of those arms is shocked that he isn’t available.
Scott Effross, for whom the Yankees traded prior to the MLB trade deadline, needs Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament, YES Network reported.
This news comes after Effross pitched in the Yankees’ final regular season game on Oct. 3, just one inning of work. What he thought was soreness was something else entirely.
“I was a little taken aback,” Effross told Sports Illustrated. “Obviously, when you go in there, there’s the possibility of finding something you don’t want to see. For me, I think it was kind of shocking. I think every pitcher thinks it’s shocking hearing that news.”
Effross first felt something in his elbow on Sept. 30 when the Yankees took on the Baltimore Orioles, but they thought nothing of it, which resulted in him pitching that inning on Oct. 3.
Manager Aaron Boone explained what happened from there.
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“Then we pitched him in Texas, and he felt good, sharp. In his live BP on Friday, he didn’t recover the next day, and there was some concern there. So, we had the MRI and sure enough. We found out over the weekend.”
Effross is the latest Yankees bullpen arm to be lost for the rest of the season, joining Chad Green and Michael King with elbow injuries. Green needed Tommy John surgery as well.
Aroldis Chapman also went AWOL, skipping the team’s mandatory workout after it was reportedly found out that the Yankees weren’t sure if he would make the ALDS roster or not.
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Chapman made the decision easier for them, staying in Miami and not traveling for the workout, effectively putting an end to his Yankees career. Chapman’s contract is up after the season.
Then there’s Ron Marinaccio, the rookie high-leverage reliever who is dealing with a shin injury, though he could return by the ALCS if the Yankees make it. Zach Britton, the veteran lefty, is also dealing with a shoulder injury after coming back for a short stint at the end of the regular season.
In 12.2 innings since joining the Yankees, Effross held a 2.13 ERA with 12 strikeouts to four walks.
He is likely to miss the 2023 season, but Effross is under Yankees control until 2028 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.