Yankees add two more low-cost veteran relief pitchers
In the Yankees continued quest to shorten games, thanks to inconsistent starting pitching, they’ve signed veteran right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Ryan Dull.
With the disappearance of the post-waiver trade deadline, teams have become increasingly crafty in the way they add to their rosters for the postseason push. We recently saw the Yankees trade for left-handed relief pitcher Joe Mantiply, who wasn’t on the Reds 40-man roster — thus facilitating the deal.
Unfortunately for Mantiply, both he and the recently promoted Brady Lail were designated for assignment after only one outing apiece.
A flurry of roster moves pertaining to pitchers continues, as the Yanks sent Chance Adams and Adonis Garcia back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — and reinstated No. 6 prospect Jonathan Loaisiga from the 60-day IL.
However, turnover continues, as a pair of veteran right-handers have been brought into the fold.
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On Wednesday, the Yankees claimed 29-year-old Ryan Dull off waivers from the San Francisco Giants, only a week after the Giants took him from the Oakland A’s.
Dull has spent the majority of the past two seasons in the minors, but in seven big league appearances this year (nine innings), Dull has scuffled to the tune of a 12.00 ERA, 2.556 WHIP and 8:4 K:BB ratio.
A five-year veteran, Dull’s best season came in 2016 when he went 5-5 with the A’s, pitching to a 2.42 ERA, 0.874 WHIP and 73:15 K:BB ratio across 74.1 innings. For the time being, Dull has been added to the Yanks 40-man roster.
Then there’s the one-time starter, turned closer, back to middle-reliever, David Hernandez, whom the Yankees signed to a minor league contract. Despite the organization not making a formal announcement until Thursday, he actually pitched for the RailRiders on Wednesday evening.
An ineffective beginning to life with his sixth organization in 10 years, Hernandez blew the save when he allowed two walks, one hit and one run in one inning of work. Though he did pick up the loss, Hernandez struck out two batters.
Hernandez, 34, signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Reds before the 2018 season. During his first season in The Queen City, Hernandez was quite capable when he posted a 5-2 record, 2.53 ERA, 0.984 WHIP and 65:17 K:BB ratio across 64 innings.
Yet, this season was a colossal failure for the Hernandez, who’s had four campaigns with an ERA under four.
In only 42.2 innings (47 appearances), the usually reliant reliever is 2-5, with an awful 8.02 ERA and 1.711 WHIP while surrendering seven home runs (six all of last season). Though his 4.2 BB/9 is his worst since 2010 (4.8), Hernandez’s 11.2 K/9 is his second-best career mark (2012), while also reaching top stats in swinging-strike rate (14.7) and opponents’ chase rate (35.3).
Perhaps that’s what intrigued general manager Brian Cashman enough to take a low-risk chance on the veteran. If Hernandez can hold his 75 percent career strand rate where it is, he’d be a welcome addition to a Yankees bullpen that is seventh in the majors with a 3.98 ERA.
If not, the Reds are still on the hook for his $2.5 million salary.