Yankees cut ties with Colby White, designate pitcher for assignment

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 Yankees announced on Monday that they have designated right-handed pitcher Colby White for assignment. To fill his spot on the roster, they have called up left-hander Clayton Andrews from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Concurrently, right-hander Ian Hamilton has been placed on the Covid-related injured list.

Yankees shuffle pitching staff

The New York Yankees cut ties with Colby White

Colby White, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Rays organization on May 9. During his brief stint with the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, he pitched in two games but only managed to record two outs. He faced six batters, giving up two hits (one of which was a home run), two walks, and striking out one. He allowed two earned runs in this short period.

Originally selected by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2019 draft, White quickly became one of their more promising prospects. His 2021 season was outstanding, featuring a 1.44 ERA over 62 1/3 innings across four levels, with an impressive 45% strikeout rate and a 6.4% walk rate. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery sidelined him for all of 2022 and most of 2023. He made a comeback last year, pitching 22 innings with a 1.64 ERA in the minors, but his high 19.5% walk rate signaled potential issues. This season, he has continued to struggle with control, walking 23.1% of the batters he faced between the Rays and Yankees organizations.

Who is Clayton Andrews?

Clayton Andrews, 27, joined the Yankees in a minor trade with the Brewers in February. After being designated for assignment earlier this season, he cleared waivers and remained with the organization. Andrews is now poised to make his team debut if he appears in a game.

A former 17th-round pick by Milwaukee, Andrews made his MLB debut last year, appearing in four games and allowing 10 runs over 3 1/3 innings. Despite this rough start, he posted a 2.53 ERA in 57 Triple-A innings, with a strikeout rate of 31.1%. Command issues have plagued him, evidenced by a 13% walk rate last year, but he has shown significant strikeout potential.

So far this season, Andrews has struggled in Triple-A, allowing 11 runs in 15 innings, translating to a 6.60 ERA. His control issues persist, with an 18.5% walk rate, but he continues to strike out batters at a 27.7% rate and induces ground balls at a 54.5% rate.

Ian Hamilton, 28, has been a crucial bullpen piece for manager Aaron Boone over the past two seasons. While his 2024 performance has not matched his 2023 output, he has still contributed 22 2/3 innings with a 3.18 ERA. His strikeout rate has dropped significantly from 29.9% last year to 18.8% this year, and his walk rate has slightly increased to 8.9%, just above the league average of 8.5%. Nevertheless, Hamilton’s 14.4% swinging-strike rate and 35.7% chase rate on pitches outside the strike zone suggest he could see an uptick in strikeouts upon his return.

In summary, the Yankees have made several roster moves, designating Colby White for assignment while promoting Clayton Andrews. Ian Hamilton’s placement on the Covid-related injured list also played a role in these changes, reflecting the team’s ongoing adjustments and challenges in managing their pitching staff.

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