Kirby Yates

Kirby Yates

34-Year-Old PitcherRP
Toronto Blue Jays
60-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 7/1/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Yates' 2020 campaign provided another lesson in the volatility of closers and the riskiness of chasing saves early in fantasy drafts. After ascending to stardom in 2019, Yates was a consensus top-three closer heading into last season. Instead of anchoring fantasy managers' relief corps, however, the Hawaii native lasted all of six outings before going down for the year with an elbow injury. Yates underwent surgery in August to remove two bone chips from his elbow. The sample size on the field is too small to gather any meaningful data from, but there is at least some reason for optimism in knowing that Yates was still able to miss bats (32.0 K%) during his limited time on the mound and that the elbow has been cleaned up. He's worth a look based on his 2018-19 dominance, especially after landing in Toronto where Yates is the clear No. 1 option. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#285
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Blue Jays in January of 2021.
Shifts to 60-day IL
PToronto Blue Jays
Elbow
April 4, 2021
The Blue Jays transferred Yates (elbow) to the 60-day injured list Sunday.
ANALYSIS
The transaction clears up a spot on the 40-man roster for lefty Tommy Milone, whose contract was selected in a corresponding move. Yates is slated to miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery March 24.
Read More News
Pitching Stats
Loading Pitching Stats...
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2020 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2019 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2018 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2017 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Pitching Game Log...
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
-40%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .216 147 58 10 29 8 0 3
Since 2019vs Right .178 121 51 7 19 3 0 0
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left .417 15 4 2 5 0 0 1
2020vs Right .250 10 4 2 2 0 0 0
2019vs Left .197 132 54 8 24 8 0 2
2019vs Right .172 111 47 5 17 3 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-33%
ERA at Home
2021
No Stats
2020
 
 
-82%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-28%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 1.62 0.90 39.0 0 5 22 15.5 2.1 0.5
Since 2019Away 2.42 1.15 26.0 0 1 21 14.5 2.8 0.3
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home 7.36 1.64 3.2 0 1 2 17.2 4.9 2.5
2020Away 40.50 7.50 .666666 0 0 0 13.5 27.0 0.0
2019Home 1.02 0.82 35.1 0 4 20 15.3 1.8 0.3
2019Away 1.42 0.99 25.1 0 1 21 14.6 2.1 0.4
More Splits View More Split Stats
Advanced Pitching Stats
Loading Advanced Pitching Stats...
Defensive Stats
Loading MLB Defensive Stats...
Stats Vs Today's Lineup
Want more matchup stats?
Loading Matchup Stats...
Our full team depth charts are reserved for RotoWire subscribers.
Subscribe Now
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kirby Yates
MLB Barometer: May Risers and Fallers
141 days ago
Ryan Rufe discusses May’s biggest risers and fallers, and at the top of his riser list is Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman, who went 5-0 for the month with only three runs allowed over 37 innings.
Mound Musings: Checking in on AL Bullpens
152 days ago
Brad Johnson examines closer assignments in the AL to see what possible changes are on the horizon, including in Toronto where Jordan Romano might soon get his chance to close.
Week 6 FAAB Recap
Week 6 FAAB Recap
169 days ago
169 days ago
Shane McClanahan was the big prize free agent in a number of leagues this week.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
183 days ago
Erik Halterman analyzes some early-season risers and fallers, and questions whether this could be a breakout year for Vladimir Guerrero.
Bernie on the Scene: Corner Infield Trade Targets
183 days ago
Bernie Pleskoff analyzes some trade targets at the corners who could help fantasy teams, including the Royals' Hunter Dozier.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Yates did in 2019 what only four other relievers have done this decade: save at least 40 games while striking out at least 100 batters, joining Edwin Diaz, Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel and Greg Holland. The bad news? Only Jansen and Kimbrel did it in consecutive years. As great as Diaz was in 2018, he didn't come close to doing it again in 2019, and that should be fresh in your mind as you figure out how to draft Yates in 2020. He doesn't have the electric fastball, but how he tunnels it with his amazing splitter makes both pitches harmonize in a wonderful duet. He pitched with elite skills in 2018 without the full-time closer role, but had both in 2019. He is no longer a bargain and will cost you full freight to add to your roster. Not bad for a reliever who was designated for assignment by the Rays, Yankees and Angels before striking gold in San Diego. The splitter completely turned around his career.
Yates was already on his way to a career year when the Padres dealt Brad Hand at the trade deadline, and he deservedly took over as the closer after that. He was not as effective after the All-Star break as he was before, but still set career bests across the board. A 31-year-old righty, Yates relies on a 95-mph fastball to get ahead in the count and gets whiffs with his splitter and hard slider. He will open 2019 in the same role he finished last year, but could wind up on the trade block himself if the Padres can't keep pace in the NL West, given his age and the fact he is only under team control for two more seasons. Chances are, he would not work as a closer if he were dealt to a contender. He was getting drafted as a top-15 reliever on average in December, with drafters putting a lot of faith in a player with just 14 career saves. That aggression is somewhat understandable given his dominance last season and the general lack of trustworthy closers.
The Padres claimed Yates off waivers after he was designated for assignment by the Angels in April. He proceeded to make 61 appearances for San Diego last season, pushing his strikeout rate to a gaudy 38.5 percent while providing decent ratios (3.97 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). An extreme flyball pitcher, Yates continues to give up too many home runs, and his career 1.81 HR/9 is showing no signs of improving. Mixing a mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup, Yates' ability to miss bats appears to be sustainable, but he needs to cut back on the number of mistakes he makes with his slider. He did not allow a hit all season with his changeup, which generated whiffs at an excellent clip (26.6 percent), and gives him a weapon that could allow him to become more effective at getting lefties out. It's not out of the question to think that he could be given a chance at closing in San Diego at some point if Brad Hand were to get traded.
Yates' ability to strike batters out is unquestionable, but the other facets of pitching got him traded twice over the offseason. The 29-year-old eventually landed in the Yankees organization, where he initially broke camp with the major league bullpen. However, he was shipped back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late June after posting a paltry 5.72 ERA and 4.4 BB/9 across 26.2 innings pitched. He dominated the minor league competition, but his return to the big leagues didn't provide any more success, as he sported a 4.09 ERA and a 4.9 BB/9 over 11 innings scattered across the final two months of the season. The right-hander's strikeout rate was impeccable as always (10.9 K/9), but his lack of control and propensity to give up home runs doesn't bode well going forward. He was claimed off waivers by the Angels in October, so he could garner a low-leverage role in their relatively weak relief corps. That being said, until he can harness his control, Yates is unlikely to be consistently entrusted with high-leverage situations.
Yates made the Rays’ Opening Day roster thanks to a strong spring training in which he registered a 2.45 ERA and 11:3 K/BB ratio in 11 innings. His regular season didn’t go as well. The 28-year-old saw playing time in four different months and his 4.15 ERA in April was easily his best mark in any individual month. He eventually finished with a brutal 7.97 ERA in 20.1 innings, with most of his time coming after a September callup. At his best, Yates is an excellent strikeout pitcher, evidenced by 11.9 K/9 in the minors and at his worst he deals with serious command issues, with a 4.2 BB/9. He also missed significant time in May and June due to a chest injury, which likely didn’t feel great even after he returned. He’ll have to battle to secure a role with the Yankees during spring training after coming over in a January trade, but even if he makes the team, he unlikely to work into a fantasy-relevant role.
The undersized reliever had a nice debut for the Rays in 2014. He struck out 27 percent of the batters he faced and held opposing batters to a .241 average. Over the past two seasons at Triple-A Durham, Yates served as the team’s closer and struck out 128 batters and permitted just 48 hits in 86.2 innings. Despite the big numbers, Yates does not have top-shelf stuff and relies more on sequencing and a deceptive delivery for his effectiveness. He should work the middle innings of relief so he could vulture some wins while helping with strikeouts in deep AL-only leagues.
More Fantasy News
Hits injured list
PToronto Blue Jays
Elbow
April 1, 2021
Yates (elbow) was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Undergoes successful surgery
PToronto Blue Jays
Elbow
March 25, 2021
Yates underwent successful Tommy John surgery Wednesday, Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Ruled out for season
PToronto Blue Jays
Elbow
March 23, 2021
Yates' elbow injury is serious enough to shut him down for the season and will probably lead to his second Tommy John surgery, Scott Mitchell of TSN.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Set to miss time with arm injury
PToronto Blue Jays
Elbow
March 22, 2021
Yates said Monday that he expects to miss multiple weeks after he was diagnosed with a flexor pronator strain in his right arm, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
All but confirmed as closer
PToronto Blue Jays
March 20, 2021
Yates will make his second appearance of the spring Saturday against the Phillies, and Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker described the ninth inning as "his job to lose," Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.