Cessa (1-1) lost Sunday at the hands of Boston, allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit and one walk in the Yankees' 6-5 defeat. Cessa came on for the 10th inning in a tie game and allowed a two-run single to Xander Bogaerts that ended up being the difference. The run was the first Cessa has allowed in six appearances as he remains a key member of the New York bullpen with a 3.09 ERA.
Cessa has allowed only one earned run across 7.2 innings this season while racking up a 12:5 K:BB. The right-hander has issued five walks in the early going, but he has also racked up 12 strikeouts across 7.2 frames. That's a surprisingly high number given the fact that Cessa has never averaged a strikeout per inning in any of his five previous big-league seasons. He is primarily used in middle innings, so Cessa isn't a fantasy target despite his strong performance thus far.
Cessa has served up three home runs across 7.1 spring innings, and he has posted a 7.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 10:2 K:BB. Cessa's K:BB ratio is promising, but he'll need to keep the ball in the park to have a successful season. The right-hander has had issues with the long ball in the past -- he registered a HR/9 of 1.56 or higher three times between 2016 and 2019 before improving to a 0.83 HR/9 last season.
Cessa agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Yankees on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The 28-year-old reliever logged a career-best 3.32 ERA along with a 1.25 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 21.2 innings (16 appearances) last season. He should continue to work in low-to-mid-leverage situations in 2021.
Cessa earned the save in Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Mets, retiring the only batter he faced via strikeout. After the Yankees took a four-run lead on a grand slam by Gary Sanchez in the top of the eighth inning, Jonathan Holder allowed a run in the bottom of the frame. When the Mets subsequently loaded the bases, the Yankees summoned Cessa to get the final out. He worked a 3-2 count to Wilson Ramos before striking the pinch hitter out. The save was the fourth of Cessa's career and first this season. He isn't likely to get many additional chances given the presence of Aroldis Chapman on the roster.
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