Yankees’ new 5-foot-6 relief pitcher making waves early in camp

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Credit: Roy Dabner for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Last week, the Yankees acquired one of the league’s shortest bullpen arms, Clayton Andrews, from the Milwaukee Brewers via trade.

Despite only having pitched 3.1 innings at the MLB level and giving up 10 earned runs in his first appearance, the Yankees see potential in Andrews that the Brewers might have overlooked. His brief stint in the majors doesn’t fully reflect his capabilities, as Andrews has proven to be a solid pitcher throughout his time in the minors.

Andrews’ Minor League Success

In 2023, Andrews demonstrated his skill in Triple-A, posting a 2.53 ERA across 57 innings with an impressive 11.68 strikeouts per nine. His ability to maintain an 81% left-on-base rate and a 45.7% ground ball rate speaks to his effectiveness on the mound.

While he has shown some tendency to issue walks, his overall performance indicates a pitcher with solid velocity and the ability to keep runs at bay. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has already taken note of Andrews’ talents, particularly praising his change-up and fastball versatility.

“He’s got good stuff; a really good changeup and starting to play with some fastball things as far as four-seam, two-seam. Good breaking ball. He’s a good athlete.”

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Potential Role with the Yankees

With Andrews joining the Yankees, the team gains not just a left-handed pitcher but also one with potential to diversify their predominantly right-handed bullpen.

General manager Brian Cashman and pitching coach Matt Blake have a history of identifying and nurturing under-the-radar talent, and Andrews could very well be their next success story.

At 27 years old and with two minor league options remaining, Andrews provides the Yankees with flexibility and depth. As the season progresses, he may find himself playing a crucial role in reinforcing the bullpen, depending on the team’s needs and his performance in Triple-A.

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