Home News Yankees’ Ian Hamilton adjusting to — and enjoying — multi-inning role

Yankees’ Ian Hamilton adjusting to — and enjoying — multi-inning role



With Michael King no longer around, Ian Hamilton has emerged as the Yankees’ primary multi-inning reliever in high-leverage situations.

The right-hander has made five appearances so far this season, and three have gone at least two innings. That includes Tuesday’s outing against the Marlins, in which Hamilton relieved Carlos Rodón with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh inning following an Anthony Rizzo fielding error. The Yankees led 3-0 at the time.

The Marlins scored two unearned runs after Hamilton entered, but he retired three straight batters and preserved the lead. He ultimately logged two scoreless innings on just 17 pitches and didn’t allow a hit before Clay Holmes took care of business in the ninth. The Yankees won, 3-2.

“I was just trying to get outs for Carlos right there,” said Hamilton, who walked one and struck out none. “Glad we got out of it.”

Hamilton now has a 3.24 ERA — all three of his earned runs came against the Blue Jays on April 6 — and three holds this season.

“Ian’s such a weapon,” Aaron Boone said, noting Hamilton’s pitch efficiency, how he induced soft contact, his effectiveness against lefties and righties, and quickness to the plate, which neutralizes the run game. “He’s got a lot of confidence right now.”

The Yankees actually used Hamilton for more than one frame 20 times last year, and the collegiate starter went at least two innings on 14 occasions. A handful of those came after King, traded in the Juan Soto deal, transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation.

While Hamilton is not a stranger to recording more than three outs at a time, it’s become more of a defined role in the early going of this season. So far, he’s digging it.

“Definitely working through it,” Hamilton said. “A little different than last year. A little different time getting in the games, but definitely like it and definitely want to keep doing it.”

Asked what he likes about the job, the stone-faced Hamilton replied, “The moment. It’s the best.”

Hamilton said that the gig has required him to do “way more recovery stuff” on a daily basis. He wants to feel “at least 95% every day,” though the Yankees have been giving him multiple days off between appearances.

They treated King the same way and planned to do the same with Jonathan Loáisiga, who was also supposed to work a multi-inning role before going down with season-ending UCL surgery.

Despite that injury and others, the Yankees entered Wednesday’s series finale against Miami with a 2.42 bullpen ERA. That ranked sixth in the majors.

The team’s pen was also among the best in baseball last year, but Hamilton and Holmes are the only true remaining holdovers at the moment. And yet, Hamilton said the group already has “good chemistry.”

“Everyone in here is setting a really good standard for the pen,” he said. “Everyone in here is still competing against each other. Even though we’re on the same team, we’re still pushing each other to do better than the last time.”

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