Shane Youman, 28, split the season between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis. With the Pirates, he went 3-5 with a 5.97 ERA in 16 games, including 8 starts. His addition brings the Phillies to 39 men on the 40-man roster.
From a Phillies news release: In 10 career relief appearances, he is 1-0 with a 3.54 ERA. In 15 starts for Indianapolis, Youman was 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA and earned International League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of June 11. Selected by Pittsburgh in the 43rd round of the 2001 draft, Youman is 3-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 21 major league games (11 starts), all with the Pirates. A native of New Iberia, La., Youman pitched at Louisiana State University (1999-2001) where he was a member of the Tigers' 2000 College World Series championship team.
Beerleaguer: Nothing sexy, but this is the type of low-cost addition the Phils needed to make at some point to address their pitching depth, outside of the big names. You can never have enough versatile pitching depth, and the fact they were able to snare a left-hander gives them another arm to look at in spring training.
I saw Youman pitch a game at Citizens Bank Park this season. He was shelled and left no impression whatsoever. Browsing the Web, they say he’s a soft-tossing control pitcher who gets by on guile more than stuff. He’s actually a converted college closer from LSU who was made into a starter at Double-A. At 6-4, he’s a downward plane, groundball pitcher with no velocity and no out pitch. On the plus side, he’s surrendered just 27 homers over his entire six-year minor league career to go with a 389/192 K/BB ratio over 482.2 innings.
Obviously there isn’t much pitching available outside of free agency, so I can appreciate this Value Village attempt at all-purpose depth. Youman is the type of failed starter the Phillies needed to watch for, but it would be foolish to think of him as a Major League starter, or prepare him for anything other than the lighter loads in the bullpen. If the Pirates have anything at all, it's left-handed pitchers, so the situation was working against him a little in Pittsburgh.
I shouldn't be intrigued by Youman, but I am. I’ll bet he earns one of those typical mid-June, three-inning emergency starts somewhere next season, and if he throws strikes during Camp Clearwater, makes the finals for the last spot in the 'pen.