Nick Rumbelow, a reliever for the New York Yankees, will miss the 2016 Major League Baseball season due to Tommy John surgery. CBS New York reports that Rumbelow has a torn elbow ligament which will keep him out of the lineup until next season.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 11, 2016
Rumbelow, who is considered a pitching prospect in the New York Yankees’ system, was pitching for the team’s AAA Minor League affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this past Sunday when he was injured. The injury leaves the Yankees with a somewhat depleted bullpen. Fellow reliever Bryan Mitchell was recently injured while covering first base in a spring training game. According to the New York Daily News website, Mitchell suffered both a broken Sesamoid bone and a Grade 3 turf toe in the injury.
Although Rumbelow was pitching in the minors, Nick was a reliever the Yankees were hoping to be able to turn to when necessary. The right-handed reliever split the 2015 baseball season between the New York Yankees and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 17 games with the Yankees, Rumbelow pitched 15.2 innings, striking out 15 batters, while putting up a 4.02 earned-run-average (ERA) and a 1-1 record. Rumbelow’s innings-pitched number was much higher with the RailRiders, as he threw 52.2 innings over 37 games. During that span, Rumbelow had a 4.27 ERA with 57 strikeouts and a 2-3 record.
During the 2016 spring training, Rumbelow had pitched the same amount of innings, 15.2, as he did during his MLB stint in 2015. Rumbelow had a much lower ERA of 0.57, while striking out 12 batters over six games.
Manager Joe Girardi expressed how the Yankees were hoping to have the services of Rumbelow in their bullpen this season in a recent report by ESPN.
“It’s a kid that came up and did a pretty good job for us, and we felt that he was going to help us at some point this year.”
It wasn’t clear if there was anything bothering Rumbelow in spring training, and regardless, the Yankees will need to make due without the promising young pitcher for the 2016 season. Surgery on Rumbelow’s arm is scheduled to take place this Friday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital by Yankees’ team physician Christopher Ahmad, according to ESPN.
The Yankees still have a handful of right-handed relievers in their bullpen to whom they can turn while Rumbelow is out of the bullpen. Tops among those relievers is Dellin Betances. The tall (six-foot, eight-inch) reliever was strong for the Yankees last season, throwing 84 innings with 131 strikeouts, a 1.50 ERA and a 6-4 record. So far this season, Betances has four strikeouts in four innings and has not allowed an earned-run.
Johnny Barbato is another young right-handed reliever the Yankees are hopeful about, in addition to Rumbelow. At 23-years-old, Barbato’s experience at the major league level is limited. His experience at the highest level of the game consists of 3.1 innings pitched this season. In those 3.1 innings, he has fanned five batters, with no earned-runs and a win. Barbato pitched at both the AA and AAA levels during the 2015 season. While he had a decent season with the Trenton Thunder, striking out 44 batters in 42.1 innings pitched with a 4.04 ERA, he really excelled with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In his time with the RailRiders, Barbato fanned 26 batters over 25 innings, and had a miniscule 0.36 ERA. That performance, combined with his stellar preseason with the Yankees, earned him a spot on the roster this year. During spring training, Barbato whiffed 13 batters over 11 innings with a 1.64 ERA.
While missing Nick Rumbelow for 2016 will not be easy, the Yankees will have pitchers to rely upon. Where Rumbelow’s absence will be felt the greatest, is if additional relievers go down with injury. Rumbelow will remain a promising pitcher in the Yankees’ system when he returns from Tommy John surgery. The team will just need to carry on through 2016 without Rumbelow’s services.
[Featured photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images]