Albert Abreu sincerely believes that he is right here. The 26-year-old right-hander doesn’t mean that as a bold statement, saying he deserves his spot in the big leagues or with the best team in baseball right now. No, Abreu thinks the Yankees are where he can be the best pitcher.
“When the news came that I was about to come back and rejoin the team … it felt like hope, like I was finding hope again,” Abreu said via Yankees interpreter Marlon Abreu. “I had lost my confidence and walking into the stadium, walking through the doors, I felt a rush of energy and positive energy. And it just tells me that this is where I am. Walking into this clubhouse, I felt like a different person.”
The Yankees hoped that a change of scenery, where they had some success in the big leagues last year, would help Abreu and him. On Monday night, Abreu looked like a different pitcher. After clashing with Texas, where the Yankees tackled Jose Trevino to get him at the end of spring training, and in Kansas City, Abreu threw a strike and commanded the strike zone. He delivered a 2.1 scoreless, hitless innings to the Bombers as they rallied from a season-high-tying four-run deficit to beat AK 9–5 at the stadium.
“Wow, I thought he was great,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “He was pounding the strike zone. You see what he is capable of when he is pounding the strike zone. He’s skilled, his stuff was really good and it’s seven big outs. ,
The 2.1 innings pitched was a season high and he pitched the most in the big leagues with the Yankees against the Royals since August 11, 2021. He scored four runs and went for one.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates and of course the staff we have here. We have a really nice clubhouse. In years past, I used to feel very, very comfortable with friends in this room. I think it’s the right place for me,” Abreu said. “And yes, in an environment like this, I really feel like I can thrive and help.”
Abreu didn’t nibble and kept himself out of trouble with Rangers and Royals. In seven matches, Abreu scored 12 runs in 8.2 innings with Texas and four in 4.1 innings in four matches with Kansas City.
“Yeah, one way to channel that energy is to focus and stay away from walks. That’s something that hurt me. And I just wanted to channel that energy, focus on throwing strikes, Abreu said. “I have been for this team for the last few years when I know I have the opportunity to be a pitcher. So yeah, definitely focusing on attacking.”
The Yankees claimed an exemption from Abru last week. He liked the potential he had seen last season – 35 strikeouts in 36.1 innings – but was traded to Rangers from Trevino along with lefty Robert Ahlstrom at the end of Spring Training. He needed a catch since Ben Rortvedt, who he had acquired in a trade earlier in the spring, was injured and unprepared for the season and Abreu had no minor league options left. This means that if they don’t keep Abreu on the big league roster, they will have to nominate him for assignment.
Abreu allowed 10 hits in 11 matches and five earned runs in 13 innings on 16 walks for Rangers and Royals this season. In 41 career relief appearances over parts of three seasons with the Yankees, Rangers and Royals, he has gone 2–1 with one save and a 5.12 ERA.
But when they acquired him, the Yankees realized that pitching coach Matt Blake could help him cut down on running and focus on the strike zone. Abru believes the same, which is why he thinks he belongs here.
“I think it was very easy. He brought in positive points from last season,” Abreu said. “He was very clear. And it was a very positive conversation about how to get back to what we were doing here. That work and like I said a lot of positive reinforcement and just using that. ,