Yankees sign low-key bullpen arm to compete during spring training

mlb: pittsburgh pirates at seattle mariners, duane underwood, yankees
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The Yankees have been making some low-key moves over the past few days, notably sending Billy McKinney to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for international funds. They promptly used $450K to acquire a catcher out of the Dominican Republic, Justin Capellan.

Yankees Sign a Low-Key Bullpen Arm

However, general manager Brian Cashman also made another move, signing bullpen arm Duane Underwood to a non-roster contract to compete during spring training. Underwood is a 29-year-old right-handed pitcher who most recently spent the past three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has pitched 190.2 MLB innings, hosting a career 4.63 ERA, 4.08 FIP, and 8.45 strikeouts per nine, including a 68.5% left-on-base rate and 45.4% ground ball rate.

Last season, he hosted a career-low strikeout rate at 5.18 per 9 with a 5.18 ERA. He tossed 24.1 innings, struggling with his command and allowing 4.07 walks per nine, a problematic number.

Underwood has a sinker, changeup, cutter, and curveball in a sequence. He tosses his sinker and change-up the same amount at 25.8% usage. His sinker averages out at 93.6 mph, allowing a .421 batting average last year. He doesn’t generate great break on his pitches and his velocity is underwhelming, so this will likely result in the Yankees moving on or stashing him in the minors in case of emergencies. It’s never a bad thing to have experienced arms available in case of emergencies.

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