Chicago Cubs: Kyle Ryan
Kyle Ryan is another one that could fit into the mold, but his MLB experience is minimal. He has spent four seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but only one where he came out of the bullpen, in 2016–and the numbers didn’t disappoint. In 2015, the Tigers used him as a starter in six games. In 56 games, he pitched 55 2/3 innings to a 3.07 ERA and an ERA+ of 139.
But while Ryan had a strong 2016, he was rarely tested. In his 56 appearances, he entered in in low-leverage situations in 36 of those games. That season, Ryan inherited 38 runners, allowing eight of them to score (21%). Generally, these guys are going to be called upon to get one or two hitters out, and that’s their job. Allowing over 20 percent to score isn’t going to be what Maddon is looking for.
Ryan didn’t see any time in the majors last season, spending the entire year at Iowa. His numbers weren’t bad, as he struck out 61 in 66 innings and allowed a WHIP of just 1.000. His K/9 was also is highest of his career–MLB or MiLB–with an 8.3.