On Monday night, after the fireworks died down from a 14-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman acquired for cash righty starting pitcher A.J. Cole, a reclamation project who had been designated for assignment recently by the Washington Nationals.
The Yankees have acquired RHP A.J. Cole from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations. Cole has been added to the 40-man roster and will be added to the 25-man roster.
RHP David Hale was designated for assignment.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 24, 2018
David Hale, who had made his Yankee debut Monday evening, pitched two scoreless innings and after the game was designated for assignment to make room for Cole on the 25 man roster.
Cole, 26, was a former prospect in the Nationals’ system and was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 52 prospect in its top 100 for 2015. Cole worked exclusively as a starter for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals’ Triple-A club, in 2015-2017, while also going up and down with the big club in both a starting and relieving role.
In 2017, Cole had a combined 3-5 record with the Nationals as a starter (eight games) and a reliever (three games), posting a 3.81 ERA across 52 innings, giving up 22 runs on 51 hits, eight of them homers with 44 strikeouts and 27 walks.
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To begin the season, Cole was named as the Nationals’ fifth starter. In his first start of the season on April 3 against the Braves, Cole hit his first major league home run, but also gave up 10 earned runs to the Braves to tie Jeremy Guthrie for the franchise record for earned runs given up in a game by a starter, according to Wikipedia. After another abbreviated start and several unsuccessful relief appearances, Cole was designated for assignment by the Nationals on April 20.
According to Brooks Baseball, Cole primarily relies on his slider (83 mph), four seam fastball (93 mph), curve (79 mph) and also mixes in a sinker (92 mph) and change (87 mph).
Cole is a reclamation project. He will take David Hale’s place in the bullpen and be used by the Yankees for length, to eat innings.