Yesterday, we graded the Yankees set-up man/closer Dellin Betances in the first edition of our “Report Card” series. Today, we’ll focus on Luis Cessa who pitched in 17 games for the Yankees and found himself in the rotation after Ivan Nova was traded and Nathan Eovaldi was shelved with an injury.
Initially, Luis Cessa was part of the coveted “Scranton Shuttle”, where the Yankees would replace bullpen pieces on a consistent basis. However, the Yankees needed Cessa when the rotation lost two members, one to a trade and one to Tommy John Surgery. Overall, Cessa’s season didn’t seem like it was fabulous as he went 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.103 WHIP in 17 games. However, Cessa did get the job done as far as keeping the Yankees in contention by having a decent 5.9 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9.
Here’s the breakdown of Cessa’s 2016 season:
April: Cessa only had one outing for the Yankees, giving up a run in two innings of work. His April ERA was 4.50.
May: Cessa pitched five innings for the Yankees, only allowing a run on three hits. It was Cessa’s best month as he posted a 1.80 ERA.
June: Cessa pitched 4.2 innings, giving up two runs while allowing two home runs. His monthly ERA was 3.86.
July: Cessa only went two innings in July, but gave up three runs in his two innings of work. Those three runs gave Cessa a 9.00 ERA for the month of July.
August: August was the month Cessa stepped into the starting rotation and for the month of August, he did a decent job. In 23 innings, he gave up 11 earned runs while striking out 16, which resulted in a 4.30 ERA for the month of August.
September: Cessa pitched 28 innings for the Yankees, giving up 13 runs while striking out 17. Cessa’s ERA for September, a month where most of the Yankees players struggled, was 4.18.
October: Cessa made one start in October against the Orioles, giving up four runs on five hits. His ERA for the month was 6.35 while his ERA for the entire season was 4.35.
The Verdict: Was Cessa the top Yankees prospect that mowed down every single opponent? No. But he did help keep the Yankees in contention until the final week, and he’s made himself a possible candidate for the rotation come Spring Training.
So, what would be Cessa’s grade in 2016?
Tomorrow: We grade Tyler Clippard‘s performance in the Yankees bullpen as he became the setup man to Dellin Betances following the trade deadline.