After nearly a decade of MLB experience, Kauai’s Kirby Yates finally gets his shot to participate in the MLB playoffs.
Yates first pitched in the MLB in 2014 for the Tampa Bay Rays. He has also had stints with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves, all teams that have appeared in the postseason after his debut, but he had yet to appear in a postseason game.
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That appears ready to change later this week in the NLDS, as Yates is a virtual lock to make Atlanta’s NLDS roster, which has yet to be officially announced. Although the Braves made the postseason in Yates’ first year with the team in 2022, an injury kept him off the roster.
Atlanta, which finished with the MLB’s best regular season record at 104-58, officially begins its postseason run on Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The moment has been a long time coming for the 36-year-old Yates.
“I think everybody in the baseball world hears and realizes we’re absolutely built to win a World Series, and I don’t think anybody on our side doubts that,” Yates said. “I personally haven’t been through a World Series run, but there’s a lot of guys in that clubhouse that have. So that gives us experience.
“I think they’d be the first to tell you that it’s really, really hard to do. And unfortunately, the best team doesn’t always win, and that’s the crazy thing about baseball. So, as good as we’re rolling right now, I think everybody understands that, hey, winning a World Series is the ultimate prize and it’s not going to be easy.
“You got to go out there and take it. I love where we’re at. It’s extremely fun.”