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Yankees confident Matt Krook can contribute in bullpen

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The Yankees remain in the market for more bullpen help, but even if they do sign another veteran pitcher after adding Tommy Kahnle to the mix, they’ll likely need some help from some young pitchers.

Much like last season, when the Yankees turned to Ron Marinaccio out of spring training and the rookie right-hander became important out of the pen, the Yankees added some minor leaguers to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Since the Yankees traded much of their minor league pitching depth at the deadline last season, they won’t have as many options this season, but three were mentioned this week as potential contributors in 2023.

Matt Krook is one name general manager Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake all brought up on Thursday in The Bronx.

As of now, Wandy Peralta is the only left-hander in the pen. Krook could be another lefty reliever, although he has spent much of his minor league career as a starter.

But Cashman said Krook has some “interesting characteristics, so I would not rule [a spot in the pen] out.”

Matt Krook pitches during spring training action on March 22, 2022.

Krook isn’t young — he’s 28 — and spent all of last season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after spending the first part of his career in the Giants and Rays organizations.

“He’s on the [40-man] roster for a reason,” Cashman said. “He possessed enough talent to warrant that.”

When the Yankees set up an alternate site at their Double-A Somerset stadium to get players ready for the postseason, Cashman said Matt Carpenter was among the left-handed hitters who raved about Krook.

Cashman said he was told Carpenter — who just signed with the Padres — called Krook nasty.

“He’ll get a look, as well as some other guys,” Cashman said.

Blake noted the heaviness of Krook’s sinker as a reason he could be effective in the majors.

Krook limited lefty hitters to a .499 OPS at Triple-A, although right-handed hitters hit him hard.

Boone said they considered using Krook as a lefty specialist last season.

A pair of 24-year-old minor league right-handers could also find their way to The Bronx, according to Blake.

Randy Vasquez spent last season with Somerset, mostly as a starter, and lefties had a .739 OPS against him.

He is considered the Yankees’ 14th-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Jhony Brito was also added to the 40-man roster and would also be “in the mix” to either be depth for the rotation — along with the more experienced Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German — or in the pen.

Brito made it to SWB and pitched well there, holding lefty hitters to a .538 OPS.

Of the more established pitchers, Boone noted the success of Kahnle and Marinaccio against lefties, as well as lefty Peralta.

“Then you have [Lou] Trivino, [Clay] Holmes and [Jonathan Loaisiga] as righty assassins,” Boone said.

In a long season, though, they’ll need more than just that group.

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