Twins Sign Cody Eppley to Minor League Contract

Elsa

Rochester's bullpen just picked up a strikeout pitcher.

In terms of the Minnesota Twins, the signing of minor league journeyman Cody Eppley isn't likely to make many waves. The 27-year old right-hander was a 43rd-round selection by the Rangers in 2008, reached Triple-A by 2010 and made ten relief appearances for Texas in 2011. The Yankees selected him off of waivers in April of 2012, and proceeded to collect 46 innings of 3.33 ERA baseball. Not bad for a waiver claim.

New York largely utilized him for his platoon splits, with 130 of his 194 batters faced bring right-handed. Righties managed just .227/.276/.319 off of him, with 22 strikeouts and eight walks. Lefties, meanwhile, hit .352 with a .444 on-base percentage, striking out ten times and walking nine. It's not uncommon for pitchers to have a weaker approach to a certain side of the plate, and that's certainly in evidence with Eppley whose funky sidearm delivery makes it easier for left-handers to pick him up. Righties can sometimes have difficult with the angles.

Eppley's fastball usually sits in the upper 80s, but has been clocked a tad slower this season. He compliments it with a very occasional changeup, but his true alternative is his low-80s slider. While he can't locate it well enough to be truly effective against left-handed hitters, the arm angle and the levels of his fastball/slider make it awfully tempting to righties.

What Eppley does provide is a history of big strikeout numbers in the minor leagues. In 248.1 career minor league innings he's sent down 282 on strikes, and if you split Triple-A out of that group he's still struck out 118 in 112.1 innings. In addition to a strong splits candidate, Eppley also has a history of higher than average walk rates and, this season, he's allowing a great deal of additional hits as well.

Triple-A Pitching Coach Marty Mason is going to have his work cut out for him, but if there's something to be fixed then there's certainly an asset there for the Red Wings' 'pen. Welcome to the organization, Cody Eppley. With Anthony Slama's slow start, Eppley will join Michael Tonkin and Luis Perdomo as another pitcher who is capable of posting strong strikeout rates.

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