Yankees invite relief pitcher Addison Russ to Spring Training

New York Yankees, Addison Russ

The New York Yankees are still looking for cheap bullpen alternatives for the 2021 season, with Spring Training just around the corner. And, as it turns out, they are bringing an old friend to Florida when things start in a few days.

Yankees right-handed pitching prospect Addison Russ, who was acquired from the Phillies back in August in exchange for veteran David Hale, has received an invite to big league Spring Training, according to what a source told MLB.com’s William Boor.

The Yankees had left Russ unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft late last year, but fortunately for them, he did not get picked by any of the other teams and remained a part of the organization.

The Yankees’ pitcher is still 25 years old, and has been dominant in the minor leagues in the past, pitching to a 2.54 ERA with 81 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings at the Double-A level in 2019.

The Yankees should give more opportunities to Russ

The Phillies drafted Russ in 2017, in the 19th round out of Houston Baptist University. After that, he has worked his way up the ladder and found himself with the Yankees for the 2020 shortened season.

He didn’t make his big league debut, instead going to the alternate training site.

He had a good spring training as a non-roster invitee in February and March with the Phils, pitching 5 2/3 frames and allowing just one run, five hits and three walks, with five punchouts and a 1.59 ERA.

As far as his stuff goes, the righty throws a mid-90s fastball and a very good splitter, and has the weapons to be a successful major league reliever if given the opportunity to develop properly. The Yankees clearly see something in him, and they are going to find out how he progressed over the winter by having a close look at him in Spring Training.