Could Kirby Yates Be Key Piece in Angels Bullpen?

Updated: March 10, 2017

The Angels bullpen has already taken a hit this spring with the loss of closer Huston Street. Luckily for the Halos it does not look like Street will be out too long. This injury opens up a bullpen spot possibly for right-handed Kirby Yates.

The 29-year-old Yates has parts of three Major League seasons under his belt. Most recently with the New York Yankees in 2016. Yates went 2-1 5.23 ERA in 41 games in the Bronx. Clearly not a great stat line, but he’s improved over the off-season.

This spring Yates has pitched four innings in four appearances out of the bullpen. He’s allowed just one hit while striking out six batters. Right now batters are hitting .083 off Yates during Spring Training. Not a huge sample size, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The Angels are lacking depth in the back of the bullpen. Cam Bedrosian and Andrew Bailey are the obvious late inning relievers and when healthy Street is the closer.

After that it is open game for anyone to grab a spot in the rest of the bullpen. These performances in camp are going to go a long way to determining who gets those roster spots on Opening Day.

Yates has pitched well, but his career 5.25 ERA in 98 games hasn’t done him any favors. He’s one of those guys that pitches much better in the minors, but has issues translating it to the Major Leagues. Yates has closer experience in the minors and could be an interesting option to watch for in Angels camp this March.

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