Who is Yerry De Los Santo, the Yankees’ newest reliever signed?

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Reliever Yerry De Los Santos has reached an agreement with the Yankees, as announced by his representatives at Epitome Sports Management on Instagram. Although the terms were not specified by the agency, the agreement probably involves a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

De Los Santos entered free agency two weeks ago after clearing waivers, concluding his longstanding tenure with the Pirates. Having signed with Pittsburgh as an amateur in 2014, the right-handed pitcher made his Major League debut eight years later, delivering 25 2/3 innings with a 4.91 ERA in his rookie season. He maintained a similar workload in the past season, pitching 24 1/3 frames across 26 MLB appearances.

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Who is Yerry De Los Santo, the Yankees’ newest reliever?

The 25-year-old, who will turn 26 next month, posted a 3.33 ERA for the Pirates in the most recent season. While this is a commendable figure, a closer look reveals a less impressive strikeout and walk profile. De Los Santos issued walks at a 12.5% rate and struck out a below-average 17.3% of batters faced. His performance in Triple-A mirrored these figures, with a 6.12 ERA over 25 innings.

The combination of moderate control and a below-average whiff rate influenced teams to refrain from allocating a 40-man roster spot to him when he hit waivers. However, he presents a logical choice for the Yankees as a non-roster addition. The Yankees traditionally prioritize ground-ball pitchers for late-inning roles and have consistently led the majors in ground-ball percentage from their relief corps over the past two seasons.

De Los Santos aligns with this preference, relying predominantly on a sinker that averaged 95 MPH at the Major League level. Consequently, he has maintained a ground-ball rate exceeding 53% throughout his MLB career, well above the reliever league average of 43.6% this year. With two remaining minor league options, the Yankees have the flexibility to move him between the MLB roster and Triple-A without the need to expose him to waivers if he secures a spot on the Major League roster.

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