The Yankees announced today that they claimed right-handed pitcher Jake Barrett off of waivers from the Pirates. Barrett has been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved pitcher Ben Heller to the 60-day injured list.
Barrett has just 93.1 major-league innings to his name, all out of the bullpen with the Diamondbacks, along with a 4.05 ERA. The 27-year-old posted his best season in 2016, when he ran a 3.49 ERA, good for a 129 ERA+, across 59.1 innings. He’s spent little time in the majors since, making just seven appearances in 2018, allowing four runs in seven innings in the process.
He did play well in the minors last season, maintaining a 2.87 ERA in 53.1 innings for Triple-A Reno. Barrett struck out 11.3 batters per nine, but also ran a 4.9 BB/9 rate. According to Statcast, during Barrett’s brief time in the bigs last year, he relied heavily on his fastball, throwing his four-seamer 60% of the time. His slider made up 35% of his repertoire, while a splitter served as more of a show-me pitch with 5% usage. He averaged just over 94 mph on his fastball.
Any way you slice it, Barrett appears as a mostly fungible depth arm, one the Yankees can stash in the minors for now. Perhaps Barrett will work his way back and impress the way he did three seasons ago. Maybe he won’t see anything more than the occasional trip on the Scranton Shuttle. Time will tell.