The Yankees made their first acquisition of the offseason on Tuesday, claiming left-handed reliever Joe Mantiply from the Tigers. To make room for him on the roster, right-handed reliever Branden Pinder was designated for assignment.
According to Baseball America’s Josh Norris, Mantiply is a lefty specialist that features a deceptive delivery. His fastball sits in the 89-90 mph range with a slurve-type breaking ball and a changeup. Norris also notes that left-handed hitters batted .143 against Mantiply in Double-A.
Mantiply did appear in five games for the Tigers in 2016, pitching 2.2 innings with a 16.88 ERA. That means nothing in such a small sample size, but it does indicate that he may need a little more minor league time before he is ready to step into the big league bullpen.
Pinder only threw one inning for the Yankees in 2016 before having his season ended with a torn ligament in his arm that required Tommy John surgery. He did well in his time in New York in 2015, bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and MLB. It’s at least possible that he could find his way back if he doesn’t find another team willing to wait out the rest of his rehab.
This isn’t a big move that is likely to impact much at all. Hopefully Mantiply can turn into a reliable lefty specialist for the big league team, but having depth in the minors is never a bad thing ever.