Braves sign Koloa’s Yates

After a short stint in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league organization, the Atlanta Braves signed Koloa’s Tyler Yates to a Triple-A contract on May 5.

The Braves said in a press release that signing the former Kaua‘i High School standout would give them much needed bullpen insurance.

Yates pitched in the big leagues with the New York Mets in 2004, posting a 6.36 ERA in 21 games (7 starts). He allowed 61 hits in 46.2 innings pitched, 25 walks, and 35 strikeouts.

He injured his shoulder and had rotator cuff surgery in February of 2005, forcing him to miss the entire 2005 season.

The Orioles brought him to camp this spring and he pitched in two games with Baltimore before heading down to the minors.

Yates was then assigned to Triple-A Ottawa, but he strained his left hamstring early in April and was placed on the disabled list. The Orioles released him last week.

The 28-year-old Yates, who recently got married a few months ago on Kaua‘i, was originally drafted and signed by the Oakland A’s out of the 1998 amateur draft out of the University of Hawai‘i-Hilo. Oakland traded Yates to the Mets in the David Justice deal in 2001.

Yates is currently in Triple-A Richmond.

Two Braves executives said Yates will likely be in the Atlanta bullpen by the end of the season. Meanwhile, according to Gary Yates, their father, younger brother Kirby Yates, who is a pitcher for Yavapai College (JC) in Arizona, will undergo Tommy John surgery (UCL or ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction).

In March, an MRI revealed a partial elbow tear for the freshman right-hander, who strained the injury while throwing a breaking ball against rival Glendale College.

The 26th round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox last summer was a starter on the Yavapai rotation.

• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.com.

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