Yankees Player Profile: NRI-Diego Moreno


For someone who is 6’1″, and only 177 lbs., one might think that Diego Moreno has time to fill out. Unfortunately for Moreno, he’s no longer a kid, having turned 27 this past July. He came over in the A.J. Burnett deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and has shown flashes of brilliance mixed with some clunkers depending on what level he’s pitching at.

Moreno split 2014 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A strong start at Trenton got him promoted to Triple-A, after posting a 1-0 record in 11 1/3 innings, while having a 0.79 ERA and six saves out of the bullpen. Here’s where the tale of two cities always seems to catch up with Moreno: once he arrived in Scranton, he pitched to the tune of a 4.86 ERA, along with a 2-3 record and recorded only two more saves on the entire season, hurling 46 1/3 innings. This type of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type season splits is exactly why he’s been a seven-season minor leaguer, without getting as much as a sniff of the big club.

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Diego Moreno can throw smoke with the best of the Yankees farm system relievers, consistently sitting at 94-96 mph, while also hitting 98 on regular occurrences. His problem is that his slider is highly inconsistent, and his fastball is flat. Scouts have compared it to rolling a ball down a coffee table, which never bodes well for a young guy who doesn’t have a secondary breaking pitch to use to keep hitters honest.

While Moreno will get a chance to compete for a bullpen spot, it is highly unlikely he breaks camp with the team, unless of course the Yankees new corp of relievers get decimated by injuries in March. If that is the case, Moreno could find himself in the middle of the ‘pen somewhere. However, realistically speaking, expect him to work out of the back end of the SWB bullpen in 2015, and will be on the short list for an injury stop gap call-up to the Bronx.

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