The Indians have designated righty Kirby Yates for assignment, per a club announcement (via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, on Twitter). His roster spot was needed for Mike Napoli, whose signing was made official today.
Yates, 28, was acquired from the Rays for cash earlier this winter. He has still yet to pitch for another organization. The righty surrendered a remarkable 30.3% HR/FB rate (and 18 earned runs) in his 20 1/3 MLB frames last year. There’s almost certainly some poor luck baked in there — he’s shown a propensity for the flyball in the majors, but has never allowed double-digit homers in a minor league season — but it’s certainly an issue he’ll need to overcome.
That being said, there’s a reason that Cleveland added Yates in the first place, and he figures to get another shot at the bigs at some point. After all, he’s long registered double-digit strikeout-per-nine rates in the minors and tossed 36 frames of 3.75 ERA ball in 2014, with 10.5 K/9 vs. 3.8 BB/9.