DONE DEAL : New York Yankees confirm the signing of fantastic pitcher to MiLB deal

The Yankees appear to be constantly engaged in helping their bullpen and identifying value in pitchers that others ignore. On Tuesday, the organization signed Phil Bickford to a minor league contract, a former first-round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2015.
Bickford, 28, has 180.2 innings pitched in Major League Baseball with a 4.43 ERA. Last season, he pitched 67.1 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, posting a 4.95 ERA, 10.16 strikeouts per nine, 67.2% left-on-base rate, and 27.9% ground ball rate. He’s had some trouble keeping his walk rate down, but he’s been good in the home run area, allowing only 1.07 per nine.

The Yankees Found Value in Bickford.
Bickford throws a four-seamer, a slider, and the occasional change-up. As Matt Blake prefers, he relies on a fastball and slider combination, reaching 93.7 mph.

Interestingly, opposing batters batted.183 against his four-seamer last season, a high percentage that shows there is space for improvement. His slider was less effective, resulting in a.325 batting average with league-average movement. However, his fastball created 6% more vertical movement than the norm, with a drop of 15.4 inches, implying that Blake may attempt to capitalize on that pitch.


He may aim to add a sweeper to his arsenal, as his slider has been a liability. The Yankees have prioritized capitalizing on strengths while improving deficiencies. The Bombers are always looking for plug-and-play bullpen pitchers, and Bickford might be an interesting talent who can make an impact this season if necessary.

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