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Chasen Shreve's strange but effective rookie season

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Chasen Shreve hasn't been a star, but he's easily one of the best rookie relievers in the game right now, and may just be the second most reliable reliever the Yankees have right now. He's got one quirk to his game, however.

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He wasn't the marquee part of the Manny Banuelos trade. That was David Carpenter. In fact, it wouldn't be a reach to say that most fans outside of Atlanta had never heard of him before. There are probably quite a few who have no clue that Chasen Shreve exists, or that "Chasen" is actually a real name. However, I can confirm that he exists and that Chasen is his name. He was picked in the 19th round of the 2010 draft by the Braves out of Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. Yes, Bonanza High School is also a real place.

Shreve has never started a game in his professional career. The Braves took him as a pure reliever, and the Yankees grabbed him as a pure reliever. Besides the fact that he's a rookie and comes with years of team control, Shreve can get both righties and lefties out. It's part of why the Yankees were quite comfortable rolling with five left-handed relievers recently. There isn't a LOOGY in the Yankees bullpen right now. It allows Joe Girardi to have a bit more flexibility when managing his bullpen.

And there's no denying that Shreve is nasty. I mean, look at this filth.

Brooks Baseball says that Shreve throws a fastball, slider and splitter. Here's how often opposing batters are swinging and missing against those pitches this year. The one blue dot, signifying a changeup, is likely a misidentified split.

Shreve is a weapon. While he doesn't go nuts in terms of striking guys out (his 8.89 K/9 is somewhat pedestrian among late-inning arms), he keeps them off balance. He's faced 102 batters and only allowed two home runs, and only walked nine men.

There is one aspect of Shreve's performance to keep an eye on, however. Generally, pitchers are expected to perform better against same-handed batters than opposite-handed batters. It's why Boone Logan was Girardi's go-to-guy against big lefty bats like David Ortiz. It's why guys like Javier Lopez exist, and why lefties like Andrew Miller and Tony Watson (and Shreve) are valuable assets. However, left-handed batters have produced a a .363 wOBA against Shreve, while right-handers have produced a much more paltry .186. It's not exactly a new feature of Shreve either. In his brief time with the Braves last year, he also produced similar reverse splits.

In fact, those splits presented themselves in Shreve's minor league work too. According to Minor League Central, lefties hit .279/.356/.357 off of Shreve. Righties hit .247/.314/.370. Because right-handed batters are simply more common, it's not a humongous issue. It's just something a manager needs to be aware of if one wants to use Shreve as a situational lefty. It clearly hasn't impacted his overall performance since he still can boast a 0.96 WHIP this year.

He's also just 24, and may still find a way to lock down even more on lefties. Either way, Shreve is a fantastic asset and possibly the second-best reliever on the active roster behind Dellin Betances. Carpenter may have crapped out in a hurry, but Shreve looks to be a long-term asset for the Yankees.

Nicolas Stellini is a staff writer at Pinstripe Alley, where he writes about the Yankees and covers the Double-A Trenton Thunder. His national coverage can be found at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @StelliniTweets.