Sports Update 

The Yankees may have struck gold with Balbin’s signature

February 17, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero (70) runs into George M. Steinbrenner Stadium. Mandatory credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees pulled out Thursday with disappointing news about their bid. Star Carlos Rodon will start the 2023 campaign on the injured list with a left forearm strain, and the Bulls’ cornerback Lou Trivino is also dealing with a mild elbow injury.

While most of the news regarding team advice is negative, one low-profile relief pitcher made a stellar first impression during spring training, and the Yankees are taking note.

The 31-year-old bullpen, Jimmy Cordero, wasn’t even in the mood for 2020 when he appeared with the Chicago White Sox. He hosted a 6.07 ERA over 26.2 innings pitched but put up an outstanding 2019 campaign, split between the Toronto Blue Jays and White Sox. He enjoyed a 2.89 ERA over 37.1 innings pitched, hosted a 59.4% ground ball average and an 81.4% ground ball average.

Cordero is clearly an effective ground ball producer, and is certainly a good variant on Yankee infield with the short right balcony.

The Yankees may have something on Jimmy Cordero:

However, Cordero not only has great accuracy but also has super fast speed on a fastball. He is capable of touchdowns at nearly 100 miles per hour, landing in the 92nd percentile in fastball speed and 92 percent in punting rate. While his batting average and percentage are by no means above average, he generates poor contact, racking up ground ball numbers.

“I’m a hot pitcher because all my stuff is really good,” Cordero told the media. “It’s tough, it’s something people are really going to love.”

Looking back at the 2020 season, Cordero has used his dunks about 50% of the time, his 4-ply fastball 18.8%, and mixed in changeup 17.3%. He passes with the slider and cutter at less than 8% each, relying heavily on his fastball and break ball.

In fact, his heavier generates 7% more vertical and horizontal movement than an average pitcher, and he gets good action on it. Opposing batters batted . 233 against his sinker, which averaged 96.6 mph. The heavyweights given are usually a high BA, and this is a solid number for a veteran, who relies heavily on his slider as his primary starting point.

Yankees head coach Aaron Boone has impressed with his control and speed, having pitched four scoreless innings this spring before the regular season. Having just lost Trivino to injury, Cordero could certainly be in line for the 26-man roster along with Matt Krook, who has also been impressive.

“I really like him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday. “A power arm, he’s been driving the ball the way he wants to. I think he’s got a chance to get both sides out. I feel like he’s going to be a key piece for us.”

With just a few weeks left until Opening Day, expect the Yankees’ Cordero to be heavily involved, making sure they’re ready to pitch at the MLB level.

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