San Diego Padres add a couple more high upside arms on Minor League deals

The San Diego Padres continue to bring in high-quality arms on Minor League deals hoping to find a diamond in the rough.

On Thursday it was reported that the San Diego Padres signed relievers Chih-Wei Hu and Jimmy Yacabonis to Minor League contracts.

They continue to bring in talent with very difficult names after signing Kyle Barraclough earlier this week.

Related Story: What Barraclough could bring to SD

But all three signings are in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle to help put together a stout bullpen behind the young starting rotation.

 

Chih-Wei Hu

Hu has pitched just 23 innings in the big leagues — all with the Tampa Bay Rays — and has a respectable 3.52 ERA with 21 strikeouts in those innings with a WHIP of 0.83, a K/9 of 8.2, and a BB/9 of 2.7.

But the righty had a disastrous 2019 season with a 6.87 ERA in 74.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.70 and the highest BB/9 of his career at 4.1.

He throws all four of his pitches (fastball, slider, change-up, sinker) really hard with his fastball averaging 93 MPH in 2018, according to FanGraphs.

The 26-year-old may never be a dominant reliever, but he’s held righties to just a .109 average in his brief big league career.

 

Jimmy Yacabonis

A former 13th round pick by the Baltimore Orioles, Yacabonis has struggled through three seasons at the big league level with a career ERA of 5.75 in 101.2 innings.

Walks have been an issue with a BB/9 of 5.0, and it’s not like he’s striking a ton of batters out either with a K/9 of just 6.6. Those numbers aren’t much better in his minor league career either.

Maybe the one attractive thing about Yacabonis is he made 28 starts in 2018 and 4 starts this past season, so he has the ability to give you a spot start or be an opener if the Padres get that desperate.

His fastball can get up to the mid-80s and he compliments that with a slider that he threw 30 percent of the time in 2019 according to FanGraphs.

Next: The cost of extending Yates

I don’t like the upside of either of these guys as much as I do with Barraclough, but it doesn’t hurt to take a low-risk shot on them and see what happens. You never know when the next Kirby Yates is going to come out of nowhere!

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