Baltimore Orioles minor leaguer Mike Yastrzemski has been traded to the San Francisco Giants.
The moves aren’t done yet on this Saturday afternoon! Moments after the Baltimore Orioles announced they had claimed catcher Pedro Severino off waivers from the Washington Nationals, MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko announced that the team has traded outfielder Mike Yastrzemski to the San Francisco Giants.
In return, the Orioles received 26-year-old right-handed pitcher Tyler Herb.
Orioles fans who closely follow the minor leagues have been waiting for “Yaz” to get his opportunity with the big league squad, but the opportunity never came for the former 14th-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt University.
Across six seasons in the Orioles’ organization, Yastrzemski slashed .260/.337/.428 with 61 career home runs, 152 doubles, 40 triples, and 59 stolen bases. He has spent the last three seasons splitting his time between the AA Bowie Baysox and AAA Norfolk Tides.
Yaz ended 2018 on a high note, logging nine home runs in 94 games with the Tides and reaching base at a .359 clip. The O’s rewarded him with his first invite to spring training, but his tenure in big league camp was short-lived.
The grandson of Carl Yastrzemski earned a large, close following among fans and this move is sure to sting a bit. However, with names like Austin Hays, Yusniel Diaz, Ryan McKenna, and Anthony Santander in the upper minors, finding playing time for the 28-year-old outfielder would have been difficult to come by.
Yastrzemski will have a solid opportunity to earn major league playing time with the San Francisco Giants.
Coming to Baltimore is RHP Tyler Herb. A product of Coastal Carolina and 2014 draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, Herb made 13 starts for the Sacramento River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the Giants last season. He finished with a 2-8 record, 5.35 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Opponents hit .306 against him across 70-plus innings.
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Herb is a four-pitch guy who is likely destined for a relief role, if he can crack the major leagues. He has a 4.14 ERA and 477/196 K/BB ratio in 116 career minor league appearances.
Living not too far from Richmond, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA affiliate of the Giants), I saw my fair share of Herb when he was in town. His curveball can be fun to watch and does miss a few bats, but his fastball isn’t going to blow anyone away. The entire repertoire is good, but nothing jumps out at you. One of the issues with Herb is the command. He walked 9% of hitters in AAA last season.
We will surely see Tyler Herb at some point in 2019, along with a long list of other arms as the Orioles and their new regime try and figure out what they have.