Ian Happ: Scott Effross has what it takes to be a lockdown closer for Yankees

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(670 The Score) When the Cubs traded reliever Scott Effross to the Yankees in late July, they did so with an eye on the future by acquiring Triple-A right-hander Hayden Wesneski.

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The Yankees made the move for the present, bolstering their bullpen in a season in which they carry World Series expectations. Suddenly, it looks like the 28-year-old Effross could fill an even higher-leverage and higher-pressure role in New York than originally thought.

Effross recorded his first save with the Yankees in New York’s 3-2 win at Boston on Saturday, the latest sign that he’s a trusted member in what’s become a closer-by-committee situation in the aftermath of Clay Holmes struggling lately.

Effross handling the New York spotlight well comes as no surprise to former Chicago teammate Ian Happ, who believes Effross can handle the closer’s role.

“Scotty is an unbelievable human being, a fantastic teammate, a fantastic person, a great presence and he’s nasty,” Happ said on the Bernstein & Holmes Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday. “His velo has ticked up a little bit too I think. He was up to 92, maybe touched 93 in Boston with that adrenaline. He’s done this. He’s done this for a long time. He just came to the big leagues last year and he’s had success in the big leagues, but in college, he did this. This is who he was. He was a late-innings guy that threw every single day, wasn’t afraid to take the ball. He has intensity. He’s continuing to get more and more comfortable with throwing in throwing those late innings and pitching in those spots. But he has the intensity and mentality to do it, and he has the pitch mix for sure. I think he’s going to be super successful. He’s still continuing to learn who he is and how he can get different types of hitters out in the big leagues, which is the scary part. He’s very smart, and he’s going to continue to figure out what pitches in what situations and how he can best use his mix. I think he’s going to just keep getting better.”

Effross is unscored upon in five of his six appearances since being acquired by the Yankees. He struggled one time out, allowing three earned runs in an inning, so he carries a 4.50 ERA with New York into play Tuesday. He has a 2.88 ERA in 53 appearances split between the Cubs and Yankees in 2022.

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