On June 29th, the New York Yankees announced that they were sending right-hander Adam Warren to he bullpen, thus shortening their rotation back to the traditional five-man rotation. Warren, who might not have been this best in the rotation, has been the most constant starter for the Yankees this season.
Warren has already set career highs in wins and innings pitched this year in his first year as a starter. Warren, who pitched out of the bullpen in his first two years in New York, was given the opportunity to join the rotation in 2015, and in his 14 starts was very impressive. Warren is 5-5 this year with an ERA of 3.59. His 1.271 WHIP is second only to Masahiro Tanaka, and he has struck out 54 batters. While Warren won’t blow any hitters away and rack up ridiculous strikeout totals, he manages to be efficient and get hitters out.
Warren has yet to yield more than four runs in a start, and has not allowed more than seven hits in an outing. With the Yankees explosive offense, these numbers certainly give them the opportunity to stay in games and compete. Routinely throwing about 60% of his pitches for strikes, Warren keeps the ball around the zone and doesn’t allow a ton of free passes. He also has the ability to last long in a ball game and save the bullpen. Of his 14 starts, 11 have gone longer than five innings, and three longer than seven. Opponents are hitting just .240 off of Warren.
The movement of Warren to the bullpen isn’t a total shocker, but the timing of it is. Warren has found a grove as of late, and his last seven starts have been great. He is 3-3, but don’t let the record fool you. His 2.82 ERA has helped lower his season ERA down from the mid-fours, and he is striking out more hitters than before. Moving Warren to the bullpen now is such a shock because of how well his has been pitching, plus how well the Yankee bullpen has pitched. Additionally, Andrew Miller is beginning to throw again and will be back in the pen soon.
While Warren is a great all-around pitcher, the mid-season transition back to the bullpen could throw him off a bit and might show in his performance. But the Yankees could have something bigger in mind. Could they be making a rotation spot for Luis Severino? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see what they do. But that’s the only logical explanation for them just putting their most constant starting pitcher back in the bullpen.