Boston – Last season, Wandy Peralta was a consistent contributor to the back half of Yankees games.
Currently? He’s become one of coach Aaron Boone’s most confident arms, even in the late and close positions, and it was a huge part of the Yankees’ 61-23 start that made them 15 1/2 games in the Eastern Conference.
Peralta credits his appearance with “a high level of confidence to carry out all narratives, no matter who hit”.
“That’s the biggest key,” he said via the team’s Spanish interpreter ahead of the 12-5 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night.
His ERA of 1.99 is the second lowest among Yankees thinners with at least 20 innings. The 0.5 WAR (via Fangraphs) is third among Yankees loyalists, behind two would-be All-Stars in Clay Holmes and Michael King, who both have 1.4 WAR.
His advanced metrics were impressive in every sense of the word. Hitters average only 83.9 mph in left-hand exit speed, which puts him in the 98th percentile. His 29.9% hit rate is 94th percentile.
In other words, it was among the most valuable boosters in the game.
“I feel fine,” he said. “I am very excited. Happy with the results we are getting. For me it is just about having a strong mindset and understanding what I have to do when I go into the game, focus on that and have fun there. I think we are getting the results we want. It is exciting and I am happy with that” .
The Yankees acquired Peralta in a business deal with the Giants in late April 2021, sending fan-favorite defensive player Mike Tauchman west. Tauchman could not hold a job in MLB and plays in Korea.
What is the difference between Peralta who had a 3.70 ERA in parts from three years with the Giants and a bowler who had 2.54 ERA in an over season with the Yankees?
“There’s just something about[playing with the Yankees],” he said. “The manager has given you the ball. The compliment is that they give me the ball in certain situations, certain positions of the game, and I think that puts me in a position of confidence. In my opinion, it’s that confidence, and it’s just about execution.”
It all comes down to trust.
“Sometimes you come across a hitter who might be a really good hitter on certain types of court,” he said. “But if the resolve is there, get that show done in a certain number and at a certain time, then you will go ahead and execute because you trust your work and you are reliable. The coaches do a good job of informing you, giving you confidence and letting you know that if you feel this is the playing field for you and you. You know why and you realize he’s a good hitter for this kind of pitch, but you have the conviction to execute, to go forward and to execute.”
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Brendan Kuty can be reached in [email protected].