New York Yankees should consider making Domingo Acevedo a reliever

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees are one franchise with the win-now mentality without completely forgetting about their future clubs. One current move that could be fruitful in the near future is turning Domingo Acevedo into a reliever.

Fewer teams possess a bullpen loaded with veteran relievers that wield a medley of flaming fastballs with elusive breaking pitches. And while the New York Yankees are one of the few, they still have opportunities to improve their current unit.

Domingo Acevedo is one option, as he continues to work toward earning a full-time promotion. But he may have more success by focusing on a transition to the pen.

New York has a plethora of starting pitchers in their farm system that can develop into reliable mid-rotation pieces. And the competition for these spots sometimes forces pitchers to showcase their best stuff.

The Yankees don’t currently have any open rotation spots, though C.C. Sabathia could potentially lose his spot if he flounders. This is also his final year in the majors, which presents a vacancy for next season – possibly. Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga will likely take over.

But the other four spots are essentially locked in until after the 2020 season, barring any major injuries or blockbuster trades. Thus, if New York wants to utilize all of its current talent, it will have to transition some pitchers into different roles.

Acevedo’s large frame bodes well for him as a reliever. The 6-foot-7, hard-throwing righty has topped out at 103 mph before. And he’s already had some experience as a reliever, considering he didn’t start every one of his outings in 2018.

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The Dominican has a solid changeup and curveball, but his best asset is his heater. Much like Aroldis Chapman, Acevedo can blow it by hitters. But the 24-year-old has better control than Chapman.

Arguably the most worrisome aspect for the Yankees is their young player’s durability. Acevedo missed more than a month in 2018 due to a blister and also dealt with arm soreness in July. If the front office has to already place limits on Acevedo’s innings this early in his career, he may be best suited for a short-inning role.

Of course, Acevedo is young enough to rebound and prove worthy as a starter. Given the circumstances, however, New York may not have a spot for him unless he takes a significant leap in 2019. He could be a trade asset during the trade deadline if he performs well enough.

Nevertheless, if the Yankees plan to keep the pitcher in the system, he may be a more effective reliever. New York’s bullpen already contains four stellar late-inning options. But they won’t be as intimidating for the next four seasons.

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Domingo Acevedo has an opportunity to become a more valuable asset for a team hoping to secure its next World Series championship. Whether he will turn into a reliever will be determined at some point soon.