2016 Yankees Report Card: Luis Cessa


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.


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6 Responses to 2016 Yankees Report Card: Luis Cessa

  1. Terry says:

    I actually like Cessa.I mean he's a 4-5 guy for now but has plenty of upside. He still has to learn how to pitch at the ML level but I saw plenty of good out of him. Add the fact that he started pitching at a higher level just recently.That means not a lot of wear on that arm and the mechanics look good.Durable?? Maybe, it certainly looks good.He deserves a shot in ST for a spot in the rotation

  2. hotdog says:

    Cessa is a back of the rotation starter…i don’t know what his upside is but we can’t stockpile back of the rotation starters for too long…let him begin the season as a starter…i don’t see many better alternatives unless they find a better free agent or make a significant trade…we’ll see what Bryan Mitchell does as well…

  3. Cessa was a pleasant surprise as a rookie. He didn't look incredible, but definitely was solid. I like his command. He's got four pitches, he's just learning how to use em. His biggest problem was the longball. 16 homers in 70 innings is pretty rough. If he can perform similarly and just cut down on homers next year he'll be a solid 3 or 4 starter.

    • Jerry says:

      Remember when Cashman made the trade of Justin Wilson for Cessa and Green, there wasn't one poster that liked the trade, gotta give credit to Cashman for that one.
      …… You're right about Cessa and the long ball, he'd be sailing along and then bang , a home run. But glimpses of being a useful pitcher, him and Green before he got hurt. Cessa consistently throwing in the mid nineties, good live arm. Green too.

  4. Balt Yank says:

    Cessa did well as a rookie and this grade is a tad harsh. He gets a B/B+. Put it this way, Cessa was better than Pineda, Eovaldi, Nova. I'd take him over CC. Cessa can go above five innings. Tanaka is better. That's worth a B at least. I am not sure about the "stockpiling" comment above. If you give CC the # 5 spot, which he earned, and Tanaka # 1, the Yankees lacked a 3-4 slot pitcher all year.

  5. buckeyeballs says:

    cessa was a pleasant surprise-my met fan friends were not happy to see him go-give him 30 starts next year, nothing to lose- we aren't winning anything and best young arms in the system a year away still

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