The New York Yankees continue to seek bullpen depth, recently signing veteran relief arm Zach McAllister to a minor-league deal. This move follows a relatively quiet trade deadline for the team, where the main focus remained on pitching. Here’s a detailed look at this signing and what McAllister could potentially bring to the Yankees.
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McAllister’s Profile | What he can Offer the Yankees
Zach McAllister, a 35-year-old right-handed pitcher, was quickly assigned to AAA Scranton by the Yankees.
Background and Recent Performance
Standing at 6’6″, McAllister’s last professional appearance came back in 2018 with the Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers. He spent the last three years working through the minor-league system, including 38.1 innings with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ AAA affiliate this year. In those innings, he hosted a 4.93 ERA and achieved 12.68 strikeouts per nine.
McAllister has experienced a mixed career, with an overall 4.09 ERA. Notably, in 2017 with the Guardians, he showcased impressive statistics with a 2.61 ERA, 9.58 strikeouts per nine, an 89.3% left-on-base rate, a 35.8% ground-ball rate, and an 11.8% HR/FB ratio across 62 innings.
Diving into his pitching style, McAllister’s repertoire includes:
- Four-seam fastball: Averaging 95.1 mph with a .307 batting average against, his fastball stands out with 73% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher, resulting in 13.5 inches of break.
- Curveball: His curveball has produced a .297 batting average against in 2018.
- Sinker: This addition to his arsenal also complements his overall pitching strategy but isn’t a primary.
What to Expect from McAllister
Given his age and recent performance in the minors, it’s unlikely that McAllister will significantly impact the Yankees. However, pitching coach Matt Blake is known for valuing veteran arms as potential emergency options, and McAllister did perform well in his lone inning of work in Scranton over the weekend.
The signing of Zach McAllister represents a depth move for the Yankees aimed at supplementing their bullpen options. While he may not be a headline addition, his experience and particular pitching style could provide a useful option in specific situations. It is moves like these that help build the underlying foundation of a bullpen, and the Yankees will be hoping that McAllister’s addition can serve them well as they navigate the latter part of the season.