ANAHEIM, Calif. — A day after a disastrous big-league debut last Thursday night in Oakland, Bay Shore’s Greg Weissert couldn’t wait to get back on a major-league mound.
“I want to get back out there as soon as possible,” Weissert, an 18th round pick of the Yankees out of Fordham University in 2016. “I want a little bit of redemption to be able to showcase my ability and what I can do.”
The 27-year-old righthander has done that in two consecutive outings.
Weissert — who hit the first two batters he faced Thursday against the A’s, then committed a balk and walked back-to-back batters in his one-third of an inning — rebounded Sunday against Oakland by striking out three in two scoreless innings.
In Tuesday night’s 7-4 victory over the Angels, Weissert came in far sooner than he would have expected — taking over in the third inning after Jameson Taillon took a line drive off his right forearm to end the second inning (he was diagnosed with a right forearm contusion).
Taking over with the score tied at 2, Weissert retired six straight, which included getting former MVP Mike Trout to fly to center for the final out of the third and striking out reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani swinging at a changeup for the first out of the fourth.
In doing so, Weissert, whose slider has earned him praise from rival scouts and talent evaluators the last couple of seasons, copped his first Major League win.
“It’s really good to see,” Aaron Boone said. “Giving us two innings after [pitching two innings] two days ago, it’s not exactly how I want to do it, but he was so efficient.”
Boone referenced Weissert’s debut, which he characterized as “rough.”
“It was not good,” Boone said. “It’s easy to have it snowball on you up here.”
That was in large part, Weissert freely admitted on Friday, because of the “nerves” he was experiencing on the Oakland Coliseum mound.
“I think I recognized I was a little nervous out there after the fact,” he said in Oakland. “So I went back [to the hotel] and just said, what’s done is done and we can only move forward from here.”
A text conversation the following day with Ryan Weber, the veteran righthander who has been up a couple of times with the Yankees this season and has been Weissert’s roommate in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, helped put him at ease.
Which was, essentially, take a few breaths out there.
“He gave me some advice,” Weissert said. “He’s a pretty good friend of mine. We were texting a little bit and he gave me some pointers on just settling in and getting [rid of] those nerves. There was a lot of anticipation and a lot of buildup into that debut after all the time you have in the minors. It definitely sped up a little bit, but I was able to step back and look at it objectively, and I went to the next one with a different mindset.”
Weissert said helping him overcome the nerves as well was a self-reminder of his accomplishments this season in Triple-A. Weissert, not considered a likely call-up in 2022 when the season began, forced his way into consideration for a shot in the majors by posting a 1.76 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 40 appearances, striking out 67 and walking 19 in 46 innings.
“I think I’m past that stage now,” Weissert said of feeling nervous. “It feels great to put it [my debut] behind me. It was definitely something to think about, but I knew I got called up for a reason.”