How does Wandy Peralta’s departure impact Yankees bullpen in 2024?

Yankees Wandy Peralta
Wandy Peralta
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Wandy Peralta has left the Yankees, the southpaw reliever signing a four-year, $16.5 million pact with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Since joining the Yankees in 2021 following stints with the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants, Peralta, 32, served as a reliable bullpen piece, putting in over 150 innings of work across 63 appearances with a 2.83 ERA while donning pinstripes. In his time in New York, he amassed a 10-9 overall record; in 2023 he went 4-2 with four saves.

What does this absence mean for the Bronx, particularly their arms? Let’s look at the most notable members of New York’s bullpen:

Clay Holmes

Yankees Clay Holmes
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The 2022 All-Star reliever was the Yankees’ de facto closer in 2023. When he had control,
his mid-90s sinker (or low 80s sweeper, pick your poison) sent batters back to the dugouts
confused after a swing-and-miss or weak groundball. That lucrative control escaped him last
season, most notably in the second half of August when he got torched. It remains to be seen if he perfected his control and precision.

Jonathan Loáisiga

Since arriving in the Bronx in 2018, Loáisiga amassed a 3.51 career ERA across 215.2 innings pitched, but not without injuries impacting his career.

Like Holmes, he was also known for his high-90s sinker, as it consisted of 69.9% of his pitches thrown. The catch? He’s never fully healthy. In 2023, he was in and out before being declared out for the season in September.

To combat this, the Yankees are considering lengthening him out to take Michael King’s role in the bullpen. Longer outings are more taxing on the arm, which would force the Yankees to limit his usage in hopes of keeping him fresh.


Ian Hamilton

What makes Hamilton unique to most of the bullpen is that he also saw the front end of a game. He got the nod from manager Aaron Boone three times to start.

To be fair, it was mostly because the starting rotation became a revolving door more frequently than not, and the only place to look was the bullpen. With that, three starts, two saves and a 2.64 ERA for the 2023 season go to the top of Hamilton’s baseball resume.

But that’s not the only thing that separates him from the rest of the pack. His four-seam fastball/changeup, dubbed the “slambio,” stumped batters in his debut. After that, over half of his hurls were sliders, his most effective to produce swing-and-misses.


Matt Gage

The Yankees added depth to their bullpen earlier this week by claiming Gage off waivers from the Astros. The 31-year-old has a 1.83 ERA in 16 major league games (19.2 innings pitched in them in total), with a reliable fastball-cutter routine to mess with hitters.

The only real concern with Gage is his walk rate. He has a whopping 4.10 walks per nine innings rate, something that’s not going to fit well in Yankee Stadium.

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