The Los Angeles Dodgers signed several pitchers to Minor League contracts during the offseason and Spring Training, and Yency Almonte was among their more intriguing additions.
Almonte had encouraging showings during Cactus League play but began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He went 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and .211 opponents’ batting average in 11 appearances with OKC prior to getting called up by the Dodgers.
The right-hander has impressed since earning the promotion, posting a 1.17 ERA in 11 appearances with the Dodgers thus far. He’s produced nine scoreless appearances and allowed just one earned run in each of the other two games.
While he has been successful on the mound, Almonte told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA he is looking to find consistency with his slider:
“I think my biggest thing is trying to be consistent every time out. I think sometimes I’ve shown so far this year that I’ll have my slider be really good or really bad. I’m just trying to find that consistent spin and consistent shape that I can have and throw whenever I want.”
Almonte was selected out of high school by the L.A. Angels in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2018, though only appeared in 14 games.
Almonte struggled the following year before bouncing back in 2020 by going 3-0 with one save and a 2.93 ERA over 24 games.
Dodgers changed Almonte’s pitch mix
Since becoming part of the Dodgers organization, Almonte has essentially ditched his four-seam fastball in favor of throwing sliders and sinkers.
“It’s a better pitch profile because my four-seam didn’t play as well; only the velo,” Almonte explained of the change. “So having the movement was way better for me.”
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