Yankees' Warren: 'My value is in bullpen'

Righty retired 22 straight batters to open his 2017 season

Yankees' Warren: 'My value is in bullpen'

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' bullpen has been splendid as a group, but no hurler enjoyed more success over the season's first two weeks than Adam Warren , who retired each of the first 22 batters he faced to open the year.

Warren was the first pitcher in Major League history to not allow a baserunner through his first four appearances of a season while throwing at least six innings over the stretch. The string ended with a seventh-inning walk to Tyler Saladino in Monday's 7-4 win over the White Sox. 

"I think I just trust in my stuff and I'm throwing strikes," Warren said. "You turn the lights on, you're playing for something. The extra adrenaline also helps. You get out of trying to work on something [in Spring Training] and now you're trying to get guys out. I'm getting ahead in the count, pounding the zone and getting back to who I am."

Though Warren competed for a spot in the rotation this spring, he knew that it would take a dominant performance to wind up there given his history of success out of the bullpen. He got over the disappointment quickly, realizing that he would have opportunities to help the team in relief.

"Being in the bullpen, you get a chance to pitch every day," Warren said. "The way our starters are throwing right now, for sure, I feel my value is in the bullpen. I do enjoy being that flexible guy that you can throw around everywhere. For me, that's where a lot of my value comes from."

Warren was 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 appearances after re-joining the Yankees last season, and catcher Austin Romine said that he believes Warren's stuff looks crisper and cleaner than it did this spring.

"Adam's a four-pitch pitcher who's very intelligent. He knows how to pitch," Romine said. "His changeup has gotten better. He's locating his fastball always, so that's a huge thing. He can throw any pitch any time. He's confident. You're confident when you put him in the game, because he can get some outs for a while. He's just a very reliable guy."

Warren permitted his first hits and run of the year in the ninth inning Monday before yielding to closer Aroldis Chapman, who recorded the last two outs for his fourth save. Yankees relievers have allowed just three earned runs over the team's eight-game win streak.

Chapman induces DP for the save

"Nobody was really panicking the first week. Certain things weren't going our way, but I didn't feel like we were getting clobbered," Warren said. "It was just an inning here or there, so we knew it was coming. Maybe not seven in a row, but I don't think anybody lost faith.

"Just getting back home and getting in front of our home fans, I think you've started to see the laid-back atmosphere and chemistry of this clubhouse. Guys are having fun. You get a couple of wins under your belt and guys started to relax and breathe here."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.