Yankees Claim Lefty Reliever Joe Mantiply and DFA Branden Pinder

The New York Yankees have claimed lefthanded reliever Joe Mantiply from the Detroit Tigers and DFA’d reliever Branden Pinder.

The New York Yankees have made their first addition of the offseason, claiming lefty reliever Joe Mantiply from the Detroit Tigers. To make room on the 40-man roster they have designated righty Branden Pinder for assignment.

The 25-year-old Mantiply made his big league debut this season with Detroit with five September appearances. Things definitely didn’t go great for the young southpaw in his first taste of MLB, as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks in just 2.2 innings of work while striking out two.

Mantiply spent most of the year pitching for the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate, pitching to a 2.47 ERA in 51 IP, striking out 30.2% of opposing batters and walking just 5.4%. He made just seven Triple-A appearances this year before getting the call to the majors, which may have played a role in his struggles down the stretch.

New York has plenty of bullpen depth, so they would probably be best served sending Mantiply to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to begin the year. He had a lot of success in the Eastern League last year, but probably could use some more minor league seasoning.

While he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, Mantiply has had success at every level during his climb up the minor league ladder. He was selected in the 27th round of the 2013 June amateur draft, but has quietly emerged as a solid relief prospect. His fastball tops out in the high-80’s, but his slider is especially effective at retiring lefty batters and his funky delivery adds some deception to keep hitters off balance.

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It’s not surprising to see Pinder cut loose after he missed most of 2016 to Tommy John. He was one of the most effective members of the “Scranton Shuttle” the previous season, pitching to a 2.93 ERA in 27.2 for the Yankees. Pinder did struggle with his control in the big leagues, however, walking 11.5% of the batters he faced (4.6 BB/9).

Pinder will turn 28 in January, so he’s not exactly a kid, but he was close enough to establishing himself in the Yankees bullpen that he should get a chance to catch on with another club this spring if New York doesn’t bring him back on a minor league deal.

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