With the ALDS just hours away, the Yankees suffered another tough blow, with Jack Curry reporting that right-hander Scott Effross has an elbow injury and will require Tommy John surgery. The news broke at the same time as the Yankees’ ALDS roster announcement.
Effross was a key pickup by Brian Cashman and Co. at this year’s trade deadline. The 28-year-old reliever has a funky delivery and even funkier stuff, and looked like he would fill a key role at the back of the Yankee bullpen in October. Effross maintained a 2.66 ERA across 44 innings with the Yankees and Cubs in 2022, and ranked in the 95th percentile in expected ERA per Statcast.
Now, the Yankees relief corps is just a little thinner, with even more onus placed on Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta, two theoretically top line relievers who also suffered injuries down the stretch. The peak versions of Holmes and Peralta, along with the likes of Jonathan Loáisiga and Lou Trivino, would be plenty capable of picking up the slack from Effross’ absence (the off days between the first three games should help a little, too). Yet with so many relievers dealing with ailments of their own, Effross’ sudden injury looms large. Jameson Taillon has even been discussed as a potential bullpen option since the Yankees might not need a fourth starter in this series.
Not only that, but the club’s plans for its 2023 and 2024 bullpens have been impacted, even if that’s not the main concern now. Effross can’t hit free agency until 2028, and figured to be a major relief arm for the Yankees for years to come. That future has now been thrown into doubt, as we likely won’t see Effross in pinstripes for something like 18 months. It’s a truly unfortunate break for both player and team.