Yankees right-hander Scott Effross will require Tommy John surgery, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network. The news is an ill-timed blow to the Yankees, who are just about to begin the ALDS and will be without a key piece of their bullpen.
Effross, 28, made his MLB debut last year, throwing 14 2/3 innings with the Cubs with a 3.68 ERA. Here in 2022, he took his game to another level, throwing 44 more frames with Chicago, registering a 2.66 ERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, 6.2% walk rate and 45.6% ground ball rate. The Yankees were impressed enough by that showing to acquire him at the deadline, sending pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski the other way.
Effross continued to be effective once coming to the Bronx, adding another 12 2/3 innings with a 2.13 ERA, earning three saves and three holds while pitching in high-leverage situations despite missing about a month with a shoulder strain. He would have been in line to be an important member of the club’s relief corps in the postseason but will now miss the remainder of the playoffs and the entirety of the 2023 season as well.
This certainly isn’t the first hit that the Yankee bullpen has taken this year, as Chad Green also required Tommy John back in May. Zack Britton was placed on the 60-day IL earlier this month due to shoulder fatigue. Michael King suffered a season-ending elbow fracture in July. Ron Marinaccio was placed on the 15-day IL a week ago and won’t be an option for the ALDS, though he could potentially return later in the postseason if the Yankees advance. In addition to all of those injury woes, Aroldis Chapman has been struggling this season and then skipped a team workout last week. Due to his truancy, the team fined him and left him off the ALDS roster. The Yanks will now have to try to navigate the remainder of the postseason with a depleted bullpen group.
Going forward, Effross will miss the entirety of his age-29 season. He has just over one year of MLB service time and won’t be arbitration eligible until after the 2024 season. The Yankees can keep him on their 60-day IL all of next season, although there’s no injured list between the end of the season and the start of Spring Training, meaning Effross will be need a roster spot from November to February.