Yankees sign right-hander Nick Tropeano for minor league depth
In a sure sign that Spring Training is just around the corner, the Yankees have begun to add depth to their minor league system, this time signing 29-year-old right-hander Nick Tropeano, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels.
Although many players will report to Spring Training early, all Yankees pitchers and catchers invited to camp are expected to be in Tampa, FLA, no later than Wednesday, Feb. 12.
You can add veteran right-hander and former Los Angeles Angels swingman, Nick Tropeano, to the guestlist. On Monday, the Yanks signed Tropeano to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
A Long Island-native, Tropeano was a two-time All-American at Stony Brook, earning him a fifth-round selection by the Houston Astros in the 2011 Amateur Draft.
Beseeched by arm and shoulder injuries while as a member of the Angels, Tropeano underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2016 — forcing him to miss the entire next season.
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Unfortunately, it’s hard to get excited about Tropeano’s chances of making the Yankees 26-man roster. Not only will he have to beat out the likes of J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Michael King and others, but Tropeano was particularly dreadful in 2019.
Only taking the mound in three games (13.2 innings) for the Angels, Tropeano went 0-1 with a 1.756 WHIP and a 9.21 FIP while allowing 18 hits, 15 runs, six home runs and two hit batters.
At Triple-A Salt Lake, Tropeano regularly pitched but was still well below average. Across 79.2 innings (15 starts), he posted a 4-6 record, 5.87 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 4.86 FIP and .287 BAA.
Though Tropeano did manage a 9.60 K/9 — his 3.50 BB/9, 1.35 HR/9, and .351 BABIP were enough for the Angels to finally cut ties with him after five seasons.
In 42 big league appearances (39 starts), Tropeano has gone 12-14 with a 4.51 ERA, 1.390 WHIP, 4.95 FIP, and 193:87 K:BB ratio across 217.1 innings pitched.
A five-pitch shooter, Tropeano’s best pitch is his changeup, which fades away from batters and resulted in a whiff rate of 42.9 percent in 2018. The splitter is his next most effective option, striking out 29.6 percent of batters in ’18, followed by a deep 12-6 slider, below-velo 91 mph four-seamer and extreme flyball inducing sinker.
Sure, it’s a low-risk, inexpensive signing by general manager Brian Cashman — needed to fill the depths of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Still, you have to wonder if even a minor league roster spot wouldn’t be better served on a younger pitcher with upside?
Then again, perhaps Cashman is hoping Tropeano can replicate his pre-Tommy John stats of 2015/16 when he posted a 3.65 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, and a 36 percent ground-ball rate across 106 innings.