White Sox Recall Michael Ynoa to Boost Bullpen


Former top prospect makes debut with White Sox eight years after being signed to an international contract. The 24 year old Dominican’s first appearance was Tuesday. Ynoa pitched two scoreless innings.

Eight years after being signed by the A’s to a $4.25 million international contract, Michael Ynoa made his debut with the White Sox Tuesday night. Ynoa pitched two innings,walking two and striking out two against Detroit.

The White Sox need a boost in the bullpen. Per ESPN their bullpen posted a stellar 2.72 ERA in April. The decline of the White Sox bullpen has contributed mightily to their near collapse. They posted a 4.15 ERA in May and 5.58 ERA so far this month.

Ynoa was the gem of the 2008 International signing class. Enrique Rojas of EspnDeportes said of Ynoa at the time.

"Inoa (6-foot-7, 210 pounds) is a right-handed hurler with a three-pitch repertoire consisting of a fastball (93 mph), changeup and curve.“His most attractive asset is the fact that he has a lot of control for such a tall guy, and he knows what to do once he gets on the mound,” said Ezequiel Sepulveda, a scout for the L.A. Dodgers in the Dominican Republic. “Inoa is every scout’s dream. He has it all.”"

The White Sox received Ynoa in the Jeff Szmardjia trade from Oakland in December 2014. In six seasons in the minor leagues, Ynoa had a 9-15 record and a 4.33 ERA.

The White Sox prospect blog Future Sox said of Ynoa:

“There’s still talent there, and his combination of a still-very-good fastball and a curve that has dazzled at times means he still could become a very effective reliever.”

Ynoa (baseball reference) struck out 232 batters in 226.2 innings. He needs to work on his control. Ynoa has walked 113 batters in his minor league career. He has improved his control this year. He has a 1.42 career WHIP. This season between Birmingham and Charlotte, his WHIP is 1.34. His strikeouts have dropped from 9.2 k/9 to 7.8 k/9.

Fangraphs has Ynoa projected as a middle reliever. Their scouting report on Ynoa is:

"92-96 mph with a breaking ball that flashes above average but lacks consistency (though it seems to have been more regularly effective of late) and below-average control"

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Fangraphs noted that consistency has been an issue for Ynoa. He has yet to show he can pitch in back to back games and has only completely shutdown the opposition on two occasions at AAA Charlotte. Ynoa pitched only once on back to back days this year. On June 2nd, Ynoa gave up two hits two walks and three runs in a third of an inning.