New York Yankees pick up two pitchers today in the Rule 5 Draft

Thunder pitcher Brian Keller throws against Altoona during Thursday night's game. (Kyle Franko/Trentonian Photo)

The New York Yankees, as well as the other MLB teams, can’t have any transactions during the lockout. But, the no transaction rule does not include the minor league players that are not members of the Players Association, nor are they on the 40-man rosters. So today, the Rule 5 Draft went on unabated, and the Yankees took advantage of it.

The Yankees got some work done. Entering the day with only 36 of 38 spots on their Triple-A roster filled, the Yankees could fill two spots, and they did. The Yankees had the 24th overall pick, and they chose Steven Jennings, a right-handed pitcher who is 22 years old from the Pirates.

Last season he spent time with both A and AA ball. He was a second-round high school pick in the 2017 draft. Jennings had a 4.99 ERA, 1.392 WHIP, and 2.6 BB/9 in 74 combined innings out of the bullpen in 2021.

The Boston Red Sox were not quiet either, in a Garrett Whitlock-like move when the Yankees took a pitcher from the Yankees, today they took Triple-A Scranton’s Brian Keller from the Yankees. Keller at Scranton pitched to a 2.77 ERA, 4.37 FIP, and 1.608 WHIP in 26 games (11 starts) and 55.1 innings last year. Keller didn’t exhibit much control (7.5 BB/9), but he did strike out over a batter an inning (10.6 K/9). Whitlock was big for the Sox going down the stretch.

Please hold the jokes, but in the Yankees’ last splash of the day was picking up Manny Ramirez from the Houston Astros. Unlike the other Manny Ramirez, this one is not a hitter but another pitcher for the Yankees to add. The 22-year-old right-hander, between 2017-19 season fanned 126 batters in just 95.2 innings.

The Dominican has a live arm. Baseball America ranked him one of its Top 30 Astros prospects of 2019. However, the pandemic in 2020 kept him in the instructional league. Because of an undisclosed injury that the Yankees must be aware of, he did not pitch in 2021.