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Yankees activate Scott Effross, option Greg Weissert

The bullpen gets a crucial reinforcement for the final few weeks.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Yankees are finally getting healthy, and it couldn’t come at a better time. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the roster reinforced by returning players from Anthony Rizzo to Luis Severino. It looks like they’re getting another piece back, and it’s the bullpen’s turn to be bolstered, with the team announcing that Scott Effross would be activated off the 15-day IL prior to tonight’s game.

The relief corps has been a solid unit for much of the season, but has experienced some missteps from key contributors. Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Aroldis Chapman have all looked dominant at times and unplayable at others, and all have spent time on the IL. The closer role in particular is looking tenuous at the moment, which is why it is all the more critical that the Yankees are getting back someone with closing experience in Effross.

New York acquired Effross at the trade deadline, with promising prospect pitcher Hayden Wesneski heading over to the Cubs. The sidearming right appeared in eight games for the Yankees prior to suffering the shoulder injury that sent him to the IL and kept him out for a month, pitching to a 3.24 ERA (126 ERA+), and 3.47 FIP with eight strikeouts against two walks in 8.1 innings. Effross features a sinker-slider mix with divergent horizontal movement, and will occasionally mix in a changeup and four-seamer.

To make room for the returning reliever, the Yankees optioned RHP Greg Weissert to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The rookie reliever had a memorable debut appearance, and not in a good way. Weissert walked a pair, hit two batters, and balked in a run in his MLB debut, getting tagged for three runs while recording just one out. He looked much better in the ten appearances since, pitching to a 3.60 ERA, and 3.31 FIP with ten strikeouts against three walks in ten innings.

Weissert is another of the Yankees pitchers to learn the whirly slider, and boy does he throw a good one, with the pitch exhibiting the fifth-most horizontal movement vs. average of any slider in baseball. It’s a bit surprising to see him demoted given the growth he’s shown with each progressive appearance, the shakiness from several members of the Yankees bullpen, and the general need for arms during the stretch run, but the roster crunch got him this time; suffice to say he’s earned himself another call-up when the roster space arises.