Yankees release once promising bullpen arm

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have been making minor moves over the past few days leading up to spring training. With pitchers and catchers set to report this week, the Bombers decided to release one of their former prospects, Matt Krook.

Yankees Release Matt Krook

Krook once had a promising future with the Yankees, but his stuff fell off at the Triple-A level, and he struggled over a small sample size with the Yankees in 2023. He started his minor league career with the San Francisco Giants back in 2016, spending three consecutive seasons since 2021 with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton.

Krook pitched 34 innings in Triple-A last season, hosting an impressive 1.32 ERA and 14.56 strikeouts per nine. He’s always been a high ground ball rate pitcher, but over four innings at the MLB level last year, he hosted a 24.75 ERA, watching his strikeouts per nine drop significantly, his left-on-base rate fall to 23.8% but maintained a 61.1% ground ball rate. Krook has always had problems with walking batters, which can make him a liability.

Acquisition of Jordan Groshans

To replace Krook’s roster spot, the Yankees acquired Jordan Groshans, a former Toronto Blue Jays prospect. Groshans was a breakout candidate in the minor leagues back in 2019 but a foot injury derailed his momentum. He has the capabilities to play third base at a relatively decent level, and his bat is certainly something to be intrigued by.

Over 17 games in 2022 with the Miami Marlins, Groshans hit .262/.308/.311. At only 24 years old, Groshans has the upside to become a decent MLB player, and that is something the Yankees are willing to take a risk on.

Potential and Expectations

In Triple-A last year over 125 games, he hit .243/.339/.330, including six homers, 60 RBIs, a 17.4% strikeout rate, and a 12.5% walk rate. His 74 wRC+ indicated he was about 26% worse than the average MLB hitter, so there’s certainly plenty of work to do. He needs to make more quality contact, elevate his launch angle, and boost his average exit velocity. The Yankees tend to work well in those departments, so the hope is they can get any remaining value out of the former highly touted prospect.

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