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Who is: RHP Asher Wojciechowski

Late yesterday the Yankees signed Asher Wojciechowski to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite and a $750,000 salary at the Major League level. After spending his career bouncing around the MLB, what should we expect from him with the 2021 Yankees?

 
Pitcher Asher Wojciechowski, 32, has been invited to the #Yankees major-league camp this spring on a minor-league deal that pays him $750,000 if he makes it to the big leagues. He pitched last year for the #Orioles, and has a career 9-15 record and 5.95 ERA in 57 games, 34 starts — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 21, 2021

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An Asher Wojciechowski Career Overview:

Coming out of The Military College of South Carolina (more commonly referred to as The Citadel), Wojciechowski was drafted as a starter by the Toronto Blue Jays with a supplemental first round pick (41st overall) in the 2010 MLB draft for their losing free agent Rod Barajas. After signing, he played a few games in 2010 at Class A- Auburn.

Asher would spend the next season at Class A+ Dunedin and continue there for the first part of 2012 before he was traded as part of a 10-player trade as part of a prospect package that got the Blue Jays a left handed pitcher named J.A. Happ. Asher would then be moved up to Double-A Corpus Christi within the Houston Astros organization. The next season he would make the jump to Triple-A Oklahoma City early in the season while still starting as he pitched to a 3.56 ERA over 21 starts (22 games) and 134.0 innings. He would stick there again for 2014 and his stats dropped to a 4.74 ERA over 14 starts as he battling injuries over the course of the season.

Wojciechowski would make his MLB debut in 2015 with the Houston Astros, starting 3 games and pitching in 5, but he didn’t find success as he finished with a 7.16 ERA over his 16.1 innings. He would spend the rest of the year at Triple-A Fresno and the following May (2016) he was selected off waivers by the Miami Marlins. He spent all of 2016 in the minors, was released at seasons end and be signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks that December before being released again the next March before playing any games in the organization. He signed a month later with the Cincinnati Reds for 2017.

That would mark Asher’s longest MLB tenure in terms of games played as the Reds had him start 8 games (and pitch in 25), but again his success was not found (6.50 ERA over MLB 62.1 innings) from the jump between Triple-A Louisville and the MLB. However, after the season he became a free agent and signed with the Baltimore Orioles, where he would stay in Triple-A Norfolk until he was released on July 18th, 2018 and then signed and sent to Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox organization. At seasons end, Asher found himself a free agent again and signed with the Cleveland Indians while playing in Triple-A Columbus before the Baltimore Orioles purchased him on July 1st, 2019. Ever since he’s been in the MLB.

Since being drafted in 2010, Asher was a part of 8 different organizations from 2010-2020. The Yankees mark his 9th.

 

The Recent MLB/MiLB Stats of Asher Wojciechowski:

Since being reacquired by the Baltimore Orioles in 2019, Asher has been able to stick on the MLB roster while playing in 27 games (starting 23) over two seasons. Over these appearances, Asher has a 5-11 record, has pitched to a 5.51 ERA (5.73 FIP) over 119.1 innings, had a WHIP of 1.408, struck out 111 (K/9 of 8.4). All of this has combined at an 84 ERA+.

Things also didn’t get much better in 2020 as his ERA finished at 6.81 with a WHIP of 1.622.

Combining his whole MLB career brings the following numbers:

9-15 Record, 57 Games (34 starts), a 5.95 ERA (5.42 FIP), 198.0 innings, 1.455 WHIP, 191 strikeouts (8.7 K/9), and an ERA+ of 76.

However, looking at his minor league (Triple-A) numbers from 2018-2019 paint a much different picture:

In 2018 (between Norfolk and Charlotte): 5-9 Record, 25 Games (18 starts), 4.53 ERA, 119.1 innings, 1.215 WHIP, 126 strikeouts (9.5 K/9).

In 2019 (Columbus): 8-2 Record, 15 Games (15 starts), 3.61 ERA, 84.2 innings, 1.157 WHIP, 82 strikeouts.

 

Final Thoughts:

I am of the firm belief that no minor league deal is a bad deal. Especially with the recent tendency for Yankees to get hurt, the depth is a very nice thing to have.

With Asher Wojciechowski in particular, it is evidently clear that he is turning into a “Quad-A” player. He has flashes of very good stuff and could be a powerful arm if an organization finds out the way to let him access his talent at the MLB level. If the Yankees can do so, they may have found a good pitcher to be a mutli-inning reliever and/or another spot starter behind the likes of Michael King for 2021.

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