Wonderful piece written here by Bob Nightengale about Kirby Yates. I love hearing about his journey and how he prepares. Incredible story. Does Kirby have the stuff to be an elite pitcher into his late 30’s? With his Splitter, I’d say yes.
“Yates, who was relying solely on his fastball and slider, started experimenting with a split-finger pitch that winter. He never got a chance to use it with the Yankees, or even thank Masahiro Tanaka for helping teach him the pitch. He was claimed off waivers again by the Los Angeles Angels. He thought the pitch was coming along fine in spring training and his six minor league appearances with Class AAA Salt Lake, but after being called up by the Angels, his tenure lasted a mere inning.
Next stop, San Diego, with the Padres claiming him on April 26, 2017.
In two years, he has morphed from a journeyman to a middle reliever to a premier setup man to one of the most dependable closers in the game.”