Luis Cessa has pitched to a 2.70 ERA in spring and could be with Yanks on Opening Day.
CLEARWATER, Fla. – When it comes to promising right-hander Luis Cessa, the Yankees are juggling the age-old questions of development against what might be best for their 25-man roster.
The Yanks acquired the 23-year-old from Mexico last winter as a way to pump starting depth into their minor-league system, which lacked just that. But Cessa has been so good in camp that he could be in the Yanks’ bullpen opening day.
Joe Girardi said Cessa gave his candidacy a lift Monday with three scoreless innings against the Tigers’ A lineup. “It’s good to see,” Girardi said afterward. “There are a few tough decisions we’re going to have to make. He’s in the running in some of those decisions.
“He’s pitched well here.”
Cessa, who has a 2.70 ERA in five camp outings, was part of the Justin Wilson trade last December. It was the second deal Cessa, a former Met prospect, was involved in last year – he and Michael Fulmer were swapped from Queens to Detroit in the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes trade.
Wilson was an effective reliever for the Yankees last year, but GM Brian Cashman decided the club needed young starters, so he shipped Wilson to Detroit for Cessa and righty Chad Green.
Both figured to start for Triple-A Scranton. Green has already been sent down. Cessa might start the season there, too, but he also could be in the Bronx.
While he’s primarily been a starter, he said he’s been comfortable in relief in camp.
“I had to adjust to warm up quicker as a reliever and get into the games,” he said through a translator. “But I’ve felt pretty good.”
While Cessa is stretched out enough to get to 75 pitches if he starts his next outing, Girardi is thinking he could be “maybe a one-inning guy, a two-inning guy” in the pen.
“It doesn’t hurt to have two-inning guys,” the manager said. “I think we tried to create a bunch of those last year. If you can do that, there’s value.”