Yankees bet on upside, add wild but talented pitcher Colby White

Tampa Bay Rays minor league player Colby White prepares to throw during spring training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte on Thursday, March 10, 2022.

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The New York Yankees made a notable acquisition on Thursday, securing right-handed pitcher Colby White from the Tampa Bay Rays via waivers. White, who was recently designated for assignment by the Rays, has been assigned to Double-A Somerset by the Yankees.

The move comes following the Yankees‘ prior decision to designate outfielder Taylor Trammell for assignment and subsequently outright him to Triple-A, leaving an open spot on their 40-man roster. As such, no additional roster adjustments were necessary.

Yankees claim Colby White off waivers, hoping to revive promising arm

The New York Yankees acquired Colby White

At 25 years old, White was chosen by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. Initially touted as one of the organization’s promising pitching prospects, his trajectory has been hampered by injury setbacks. Notably, White missed the entirety of the 2022 season and a significant portion of 2023 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He made a late-season return last year, pitching 22 innings in the minors and maintaining an impressive 1.64 ERA. However, underlying concerns surfaced as he struggled with command, issuing walks to nearly 20% of opposing batters.

Unfortunately, White’s command woes persisted into the current season, compounded by a decline in his ability to strand baserunners. In a limited 7 2/3 innings pitched for the Rays’ system this year, he yielded a troubling 15 earned runs along with 10 hits and 10 walks. His walk rate ballooned to nearly 22%, and he also hit two batters. This stands in stark contrast to his pre-surgery performance in 2021, where he boasted an impressive 1.44 ERA across various minor league levels, showcasing dominant strikeout abilities and solid control.

With White currently in his second minor league option year, the Yankees are hopeful that a change of scenery and their developmental resources can help him rediscover his pre-injury form. While there’s potential for White to regain his status as a reliable Major League reliever, it’s evident that he represents a project for the Yankees due to his struggles with command following surgery.

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One thought on “Yankees bet on upside, add wild but talented pitcher Colby White

  1. Another acquisition to prove just how smart Cashman & his gang is. This guy should be going to the FCL or Tampa, not AA, to help him with his control issues, before putting him in games.

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